© Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre 2006. All rights reserved.

Introduction

Cetaceans make up a group of marine mammals that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. There are 23 species of cetaceans that live in British Columbian waters. Unfortunately, 6 of them – including killer whales – are threatened or endangered.

Killer whales have long been icons of British Columbia. They are important in First Nations culture, where they are depicted as guardians of the sea and held in high esteem. They bring people from all over the world to the coast of British Columbia for whale watching trips. They’re even on the logo of Vancouver’s NHL hockey team. Unfortunately, they are also threatened by pollution, a depleted food supply, and other human activities.

To figure out how best to help killer whales and British Columbia’s other cetaceans, the Vancouver Aquarium is gathering information about the important areas where whales and dolphins feed, travel, rest and play. We get this information from the community and members of the public – like whale watchers, tour guides, boaters, or anyone who was simply lucky enough to be by the sea at the right time. If you see a cetacean, our B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network would like to know!

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