Cetaceans Live in a Noisy World
Vessel traffic, both commercial and recreational, has increased significantly along the British Columbia Coast. This rise in vessl traffic has caused an increase in physical and acoustic disturbance in cetacean habitat. Click the drop down menus below to find out more about how vessels impact cetacean species.
Interruption of Natural Behaviours
High Levels of Boat Exhaust and Emissions
Reducing the impact of vessels on whales
- Keep 400 metres away from all killer whales in southern B.C. coastal waters and 200 metres away from killer whales elsewhere in B.C.
- Keep a minimum of 100 metres away from other whale, dolphin and porpoise species and 200 metres if they are in resting postion of with their calf.
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What can you do to help?
Follow the Be Whale Wise Guidelines
Report Marine Mammal Harassment and Violations
Watch Whales from Shore
Tools for Commercial Mariners
- Erbe C., Reichmuth C.J., Cunningham K., Lucke K. and Dooling R. (2016) Communication masking in marine mammals: A review and research strategy. Marine Pollution Bulletin 103: 15-38.
- Holt, M.M, Noren, D.P., Viers, V., Emmons, C.K., Veirs, S. 2009. Speaking up: Killer whales (Orcinus orca) increase their call amplitude in response to vessel noise. Journal of Acoustic Society of America. 125 (1): EL27-EL32.
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada (2009) Management Plan for the Pacific Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Management Plan Series. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa. v + 49 pp.
- Lachmuth, C., Barrett-Lennard, L.G., Steyn, D.Q., Milsom, W.K. (2011) Estimation of southern resident killer whale exposure to exhaust emissions from whalewatching vessels and potential adverse health effects and toxicity thresholds. Marine Pollution Bulletin 62: 792-805.
- Lusseau, D., Bain, D.E., Williams, R. Smith, J.C. (2009) Vessel traffic disrupts the foraging behaviours of southern resident killer whales, Orcinus orca. Endangered Species Research 6: 211-221.
- Lusseau, D., Bejder, L. (2007) The long-term consequences of short-term responses to disturbance experiences from whalewatching impact assessment. International Journal of Comparative Psychology 20: 228-236.
- Neilson, J. L., Gabriele, C.M. (2010) Results of humpback whale population monitoring in Glacier Bay and adjacent waters: 2010. Report to the National Park Service, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Gustavus, AK. 20 pp.
- Noren, D., Johnson A.H., Rehder D., and Larson A. (2009) Close approaches by vessels elicit surface active behaviors by southern resident killer whales. Endangered Species Research 8:179–192.
- Province of British Columbia (2016). “Marine Emissions”. B.C. Air Quality. Retrieved from: http://www.bcairquality.ca/topics/ marine-emissions.html)
- Thorpe, L., Personal Communication, April 2011 p.c (2011)
- Williams, R., Lusseau, D., Hammond, P. (2006) Estimating relative energetic costs of human disturbance to killer whales (Orcinus orca). Biological Conservation 133(3): 301-311.
- Williams, R., Krkosek, M., Ashe, E. Branch, T.A., Clark, P.S. Hammond, P., Hoyt, E., Noren, D.P., Rosen, D., Winship, A. (2011) Competing conservation objectives for predators and prey: estimating killer whale prey requirements for Chinook salmon PLoS ONE 6: e26738.