There have been more whale sightings in Vancouver’s local waters in recent days, and with the rise in such sightings in recent years it begs one question: Is this the new normal?
British tourists on a boat and a few Vancouverites took to social media yesterday and today after encountering a humpback whale in English Bay and just off the beaches of West Point Grey. This is the latest reported whale sighting since last September when a gray whale was seen in the same area for at least seven consecutive days.
It is likely the whale is feeding in local waters, which could potentially be a sign of the improving environmental conditions in Vancouver, relative to the region’s heavily industrialized past.
Humpback whales in the Pacific Ocean are known to make migrations of up to 5,000 kilometres each year. One of the several population groups in the Pacific migrates to the coast of Mexico and Central America in the winter and then returns to the coastal area spanning from California to southern British Columbia in the summer and fall.
Anyone on a boat who encounters a whale should turn off their engines and maintain a minimum safe distance of 100 metres (328 feet) at all times.
@jacksonbwilliams and I had a romantic boating day in Vancouver and saw a big old Hump Back Whale!!! #luckybuggers #canada #vancouver #whale #wildlife A video posted by rosssands (@rosssands) on
Last night I saw a Gray whale just off Jericho Beach in Vancouver. This inlet is not a sacrifice zone y’all. Its recovering and in need of our help. What a beautiful night. Got me thinking about the year ahead. That Kinder Morgan pipeline and the associated tanker traffic needs to be stopped. This is the year to do it. We all have a responsibility to protect our coast. So much is at stake. #picoftheday #westcoast #burrardinlet #jerichobeach #vancouver #yvr #bc #Canada #cdnpoli #pic #sunset #whale #beautiful #mademethink A photo posted by Ben West (@_ben_west_) on
Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified this was a gray whale.