South Island Whale Report from Cowichan Bay

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Salt runs in my veins and has in my family for at least four generations.  My introduction to boats was at the age of two.  At the time my father was a freelance shipwright and took me to work with him.  My family moved to a shipyard in Maple Bay when I was four and since then I have not been able to escape my love for the ocean.

Growing up I was taught that you have to find a job that you are passionate about and you love.  I have been lucky enough to find this.  In 2003, Ocean EcoVentures opened its doors in Cowichan Bay and started running whale watching tours, eco tours and private charters. Our goal for each and every tour is to share our passion, educate and foster conservation of the Salish Sea ecosystem.  There are few places on earth that are more diverse and beautiful than Vancouver Island’s waterways and we get to share them with people from around the world. A quote from Baba Dioum, a Senegalese Environmentalist really sums up our company’s ethos.

“In the end we will conserve only what we love. We love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”

Onto the whales, recently we have had sightings of Resident Killer Whales, Bigg’s Killer Whales and Humpbacks.  There have been Humpbacks that have over-wintered in the Salish Sea rather than migrating to Hawaii or Mexico. This is a trend has been growing each year. In the next 10 years we will have a population that of Humpbacks that will live in our waters year round. The big news is the Southern Resident Killer whales’ baby boom.  In the last fourteen months there have been nine new calves born to J Pod and L Pod with J55 being the newest, first sighted on January 18th 2016.   This is the highest amount of births documented in the forty years that the SRKW have been studied.  Great news for the Southern Resident Killer Whale families!

by Simon Pidcock, Owner Operator Ocean Eco Ventures

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