Wild Whales

Home of the BC Cetacean Sightings Network

Seen a whale? We want to know!

Wild Whales is the home of the BC Cetacean Sightings Network, a conservation and research program of the Coastal Ocean Research Institute (an Ocean Wise initiative), in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We collect sightings of all cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and sea turtles from British Columbia and surrounding waters. By analyzing reported sightings we are able to gain valuable information about species distribution patterns and aid in future recovery and management plans for species at risk. REPORT A SIGHTING HERE!

Report a Sighting

We need your help!  By reporting sightings, researchers are able to better understand the relative abundance, distribution, and habitat use of BC’s threatened and endangered cetaceans and sea turtles.

Identifying Species

Some species, such as the killer whale, are large, distinctive and easy to identify. Other species, however, are more difficult to distinguish.  Download our printable guide to help with identification!

Threats to Cetaceans

Of the 23 species of whales, dolphins, porpoises, and sea turtles in BC waters, 12 are listed under the Species at Risk Act as Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern.  Learn more about the many anthropogenic threats these animals face.

How Sightings Are Used

Information about the distribution and abundance of species is the key to both understanding the status of the species, and whether the status of the population is improving, steady or declining.

Recent News

1st Annual North Coast Whale Festival to be held in Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert, located on British Columbia's remote Northern coast, is a place of astounding beauty and the gateway to the untouched wilderness of the North.  In 2014, Ocean Wise established the North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative (NCCRI) in Prince Rupert.  This...

Career Spotlight: Doug Sandilands, Entanglement Response Specialist

Imagine if Marine Superhero was your job title? For Doug Sandilands, an Entanglement Response Specialist, it pretty much is!  Doug works at SR3 -a marine wildlife response, rehabilitation and research facility based out of Seattle, Washington. Made up of veterinarians...