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DISPATCH: Whales in the wild and on the web

Great Bear LIVE is a collaboration between Pacific Wild Alliance and the Great Bear Education and Research Project (GBEAR). To learn more about GBEAR, please visit www.projectGbear.org.

On the hunt, a killer whale dives into the water not far from Pacific Wild headquarters. Photo: Diana Chan

‘Tons of orcas in Seaforth.’

This is a welcome text on any day, but especially near the opening of a field season dedicated to tracking a marine mammal that so far had remained elusive. After a week of using two remote cameras to survey cetaceans without even the tip of killer whale dorsal fin peeking through the waves, this was exciting news.

Together with members of Pacific Wild’s Great Bear LIVE summer team, Arne and Ben, we set off in our speedboat for Seaforth Channel, just around the corner from our headquarters in the heart of Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest.

It didn’t take long to realise that the text message hadn’t been an understatement.

In range of our Dryad Point hydrophone, Arne listens on his cell phone to the live feed on our website. Meanwhile, Ben is all smiles during his first killer whale encounter in the wild. Photo: Diana Chan

Forty to 60 killer whales – more than I had ever seen together before – were spread across the channel as far as we could see. We spent the next few hours taking ID photographs of as many individuals as possible. Meanwhile, these northern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) hunted for salmon and socialised with one another, displaying a wide variety of behaviours that included spy-hopping, tail-lobbing and surface vocalisations… continue reading on the Save Our Seas Foundation website.


Conservation biologist and Great Bear LIVE director.

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DISPATCH: Whales in the wild and on the web
DISPATCH: Whales in the wild and on the web
Welcome to the Great Bear Rainforest
Welcome to the Great Bear Rainforest