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Wow! Amazing! We have been planning this trip for 2 years and never in our wildest (whale) dreams did we think we would see such a spectacular display! Thank you so much for making our belated honeymoon so very special

Tom & Amanda Morgan, England

Harbour Seals (Phoca vitulina)

Harbour seals are the most common marine mammal in our local area; we observe them on over 95% of our daily trips throughout the season.

Harbour seals are found in coastal areas of the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Although, they can spend several weeks at sea, they are often seen hauled out on rocky shorelines where they can rest, get warm and scan for predators.

Females give birth in the spring and summer and the pups will stay with their mothers for 3-4 weeks.

In BC, there is a healthy, thriving population of Harbour Seals. Eating mostly Hake, Herring and Salmon, there are an estimated 105,000 seals along the BC coast. The main threat to local Harbour Seals is from their predators, Transient Killer Whales. They may, however, also be susceptible to the build-up of toxins in the environment as a result of pollution.

Stellar Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus)

Stellar Sea Lions are found throughout coastal areas from Japan north to the Bering Sea and south along the coast of North America, as far as central California. They are largest of the sea lions with adult males weighing up to one tonne.

Stellar Sea Lions are most frequently encountered on our whale-watching tours during the Spring and Autumn (ie. April/May and September/October). During the summer months, most adult Stellar Sea Lions move from haul-out sites in southern BC, to their rookeries (breeding sites) further north.

Pups are born from mid-May to mid-July and will usually nurse for about a year. Mating occurs about 2 weeks after the previous year’s pup is born. At the rookeries, males control territories and mate with many females. While protecting their territories, males do not feed and often engage in agnostic encounters with other males.

Stellar Sea Lions come to southern BC to take advantage of the abundance of some of their favoured prey items, such as herring, hake, sandlance and salmon.

In Canada, Stellar Sea Lions are considered a species of ‘special concern’. Currently, there is an estimated 19,000 Stellar Sea Lions in BC. However, they were hunted extensively throughout most of the 20th century, primarily because of their perceived threat to fishermen’s catches and fish farms. Now protected, natural fluctuations in prey availability, pollution and predation by transient Killer Whales remain threats to their recovery.

California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)

As their name suggests, California Sea Lions breed at particular sites off the coast of Southern California and the Baja peninsula. During the non-breeding season, large numbers of animals, mostly male, migrate north to BC.

California Sea Lions are most frequently encountered on our whale-watching tours in the Spring and Autumn, April/May and September/October.

California Sea Lions are very gregarious; they are known for their intelligence, playfulness, and their noisy, bark-like vocalisations.

California Sea Lions have a diverse diet including mackerel, rockfish and sardines. Males often position themselves at river mouths, such as the Fraser River to intercept fish, such as salmon and eulachon, on their migration upstream.

Pups are born in June and July and nurse for 5-6 months. Mating occurs soon after the birthing season. During mating, males control territories within the rookeries while barking almost constantly.

Despite being hunted for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans in the 16th Century through to their protection in the 1970s, the current population of California Sea Lions is healthy and is estimated to number 238,000.