About Wild Whales

Wild Whales is the home of the BC Cetacean Sightings Network

The BC Cetacean Sightings Network is a research and conservation program of Ocean Wise’s Marine Mammal Research Program, in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  Our goal is to increase public awareness of British Columbia’s cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and sea turtles and the threats to their survival.  You can help by reporting animals you see in BC waters and by learning how to minimize your impact to marine mammals (see our Threats section).

The BC Cetacean Sightings Network is a network of over 6,000 volunteer observers across British Columbia.  We receive reports from whale watching naturalists, lighthouse keepers, commercial mariners, BC Ferries personnel, researchers, recreational boaters, and coastal residents.  Each sighting is verified and entered into our database, which now holds over 108,000 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.

Data are available for conservation-based research projects-please contact us for further details. Throughout the year we present to thousands of British Columbians at schools, community groups, professional associations and festivals. If you are interested in having Wild Whales staff talk to your group, please get in touch!

Wild Whales has participated in the creation of the Be Whale Wise Guidelines for Boaters, Paddlers and Viewers (Revised 2016) and is a member of the BC Marine Mammal Response Network.

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