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Amazing! We saw much more than I expected. The weather was fantastic and YES the anti-exposure suit is a MUST HAVE even in great weather. Worth every penny!

Janis Waldo, Alberta

Research & Conservation

Wild Whales Vancouver is committed to ensuring the conservation of the marine ecosystem in the Salish Sea. We collect a conservation fee from all guests, which in donated directly toward research and conservation initiatives that benefit marine mammals in this area.

Supporting Local Research

Our conservation fees from our 2016 whale watching season were donated to the following organizations:

The Centre for Whale Research

The Pacific Salmon Foundation

Keta Coastal Conservation

Our goal for 2017 is to raise $30,000 to donate to local research efforts. Every dollar helps these organizations to better understand and protect the lives of marine mammals in the Salish Sea.

Our Whale Sightings Data

On-board all of our trips our naturalists collect sightings data on the cetacean species we observe. This data is shared with the BC Cetacean Sightings Network in British Columbia, as well as the Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island in Washington state. We also collect photos and location data on marine mammals in distress, such as humpback whales or sea lions entangled in fishing gear, and pass this information on to officials at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The Salish Sea Ecosystem

The Salish Sea derives its name from the indigenous coast Salish people that have inhabited this region for thousands of years. Currently the area is home to over 7 million people and some of the busiest ports on the west coast of North America. It also supports a vast and complex ecosystem. Currently, 113 marine species and sub-species in the Salish Sea ecosystem are formally considered at risk of extinction, and 37 mammalian species rely on this ecosystem during some portion of their life cycle. 

Salmon play a critical role in the Salish Sea ecosystem. The five species of salmon that inhabit this region are vital in supporting and maintaining the health of our ecosystems. The majority of marine mammal species we observe on our tours rely on salmon as a food source. Salmon also support terrestrial ecosystems by providing nutrients to forests and a food source to terrestrial mammals as they travel up the rivers to spawn. 

Salmon also play a vital role in the cultural history of coastal British Columbia. For thousands of years salmon have been linked to the culture, economy and history of this region. They are an important to the social fabric of indigenous First Nations peoples along the coast, as they have been for thousands of years. Commercial and recreational salmon fisheries are a vital source of income in small, remote communities throughout British Columbia and they have been a great source of prosperity to European settlers since the turn of the 20th century.

The Salish Sea ecosystem is threatened by anthropogenic stressors such as pollution, habitat destruction and over-fishing. If we want to continue to have a healthy, functioning ecosystem capable of supporting populations of large marine predators such as killer whales, humpbacks, seals and sea lions we must act now to protect our environment. This is why Wild Whales Vancouver supports the research on conservation efforts in the Salish Sea.