Monday, April 16, 2012

Killer Whale Sighting Hotline

Local Killer Whale Hotline 250-756-7253

In an effort to understand why an increasing number of large pods of meat-eating transient killer whales are showing up locally; marine biologists are asking the public to help them by reporting any local sightings.

There are resident killer whales which are fish eaters, but the pods of interest are the transient killer whales who choose mammals as their food of choice. Harbour seals and sea lions are their main prey and an increase in those numbers could account for the increased occurence of transient killer whale activity.

In the 1970's DFO lifted the bounty on harbour seals which has resulted in a ten-fold increase in the harbour seal population, this could be the reason more of the transient killer whales are showing up locally in greater numbers, and much earlier in the year.

A recent herring spawn at Piper's Lagoon saw a number of sea lions dining on the abundant herring, but there were no killer whales seen, meaning that for the moment the sea lions were at the top of that food chain.


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