So, as I mentioned in a previous post, we spent a week in a cabin on Denman island, during Christmas break and, more important, our anniversary. On a day when we arrived, a storm started, with some strong winds and big waves. The wind knocked down some tree later so we were without power for about 16 hours. But that was not important. What amazed us was this:
We sent these photographs to Ocean Wise organisation and Sandy got a reply today:
I’ll be entering your sighting into our database, which now holds over 114,000 sightings. Sightings data is not only used within our own organization, but is also shared with other government agencies, universities and ENGOs for conservation-based research projects, critical habitat analysis, the establishment of marine protected areas, and more. Our sightings are analyzed to better understand the relative abundance, distribution, and habitat use of BC’s cetaceans. Having coastal citizens like you act as our eyes on the water is shedding a lot of light on various cetacean and sea turtle species in B.C. and adjacent waters. Much of this data would not be recorded without our valuable observers – we really appreciate your participation in the program.
It’s difficult to ID these whales without seeing the full saddle patch, but I’m pretty convinced that they are a family of transient (marine-mammal eating ecotype) killer whales known as the T037As. T037A is the lone female in the picture with the nick in her dorsal fin. She’s 25 years old and the mother to T037A1 (does not travel with the family anymore), T037A2 (born in 2009), T037A3 (born in 2012), and T037A4 (born in 2015). The family usually travels with the other members of the T037s, but will occasionally travel separately. We really appreciate the photos!
Coordinator, BC Cetacean Sightings Network
We didn’t see them again but being transient orcas that is not unusual. Anyway, it was nice seeing them literally under our windows, and having them hunting is always an exciting event 🙂
Some more photos you can see here.
What a magical experience! Also, it’s great that the cetacean group gave you and San such a detailed reply. I expect that the adult female could tell some stories of her quarter century of life in the ocean.
BC Orcas are endangered at the moment and the increase in the Burrard inlet marine traffic is not helping it. The future doesn’t look bright especially if the Trans Mountain pipeline gets approval, then we will face the increase in oil tanker traffic up to 30 times. But big oil money companies and bureaucrats in Ottawa doesn’t care about Orcas. This is why it is important that organizations like Ocean Wise follow the remaining pods and know the stage and number of the remaining orcas.
On a side note, I was reading recently about pods of Orcas up there in Alaska and Bering strait who are stealing fish from the fishing boat’s nets. Survival of the fittest 🙂