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Whale Sightings
In collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Vancouver Aquarium’s BC Cetacean Sightings Network collects data on cetaceans and sea turtles in British Columbia. Public sightings are reported by residents, boaters and professionals and are used to inform research, conservation and recovery actions. Report your sighting to 1 866 I SAW ONE, www.wildwhales.org or sightings@vanaqua.org
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A Mother's Love

Killer whale moms teach their young the critical life skills they need to survive.

Much like humans, mothers play an important role in killer whale culture. Killer whales are highly social, group-living animals whose social structure revolves around females. For some members of the animal kingdom, the challenges of motherhood are relatively fleeting; after a few short weeks of care, their offspring can fend for themselves. Motherhood is not […]

Posted on May 10, 2018 3 min read Continue reading
One Whale’s Rescue Story, 15 Years Later

In January 2002, a two-year old killer whale was discovered, emaciated and alone, in Puget Sound near Seattle. Killer whales almost never travel alone, so a young female swimming by herself in a high-traffic area was cause for concern. The whale turned out to be Springer, who belonged to one of three clans that make […]

Posted on December 15, 2017 3 min read Continue reading
Drawing a Humpback Whale, All 14 Metres

Inside a half-renovated garage in Squamish, BC, a grade-six student poured the last light of every school day into one huge project: a life-sized drawing of a humpback whale. The days were growing shorter, the nights longer and there was no heat or electricity in the garage, but Sarah Van van Eerdt still worked away. “It gets […]

Posted on December 1, 2017 4 min read Continue reading
Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program Marks 25th Anniversary

Since 1992, the Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program has supported ground-breaking research by the Marine Mammal Research Program at the Coastal Ocean Research Institute, an Ocean Wise initiative. In the past, this research, contributed to an annual photo identification-based census of killer whales in British Columbia to monitor association patterns, births, deaths and changes in distribution. […]

Posted on October 26, 2017 3 min read Continue reading
And Thus, the Cetacean Research Program was Born

Summer after summer, tourists and locals alike flock to coastal B.C. for the chance to glimpse killer whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, humpback whales and other marine mammals in their natural environment. But our iconic wildlife weren’t always treated with such reverence. Back in the early days of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, little was […]

Posted on June 16, 2016 6 min read Continue reading
The 411 on the Humpback Whale in English Bay

There’s been a lot of excitement in Vancouver over the sightings of a young humpback whale who’s been making regular appearances in English Bay. While we on the West Coast are used to encounters with wildlife — bears, eagles, raccoons, etc. — whales are a rare treat in urban areas. But as much as we […]

Posted on April 26, 2016 4 min read Continue reading
Rare Risso's Dolphin Provides Learning Opportunity

They say timing is everything, so it was serendipitous that two researchers from Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre were on hand on Haida Gwaii this week when a deceased Risso’s dolphin washed up on a beach near Skidegate. Caitlin Birdsall and Tessa Danelesko of the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network had come to the community last Friday […]

Posted on February 26, 2016 2 min read Continue reading
A Killer New View

It’s a perfect August morning in Johnstone Strait: sunny, not a breath of wind, perfect visibility; the ocean glistening dark green with the reflection of forested mountains. My colleagues John Durban and Holly Fearnbach, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southwest Fisheries Science Centre in San Diego and long-time friends, are seated on […]

Posted on October 23, 2015 9 min read Continue reading

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