Coastal Marine Surveys
During the summer of 2017, we performed an abundance study on humpback whale, fin whale, and orca populations along the northern coast of BC. Additionally this study looked at habitat use and whale "hot-spots" to determine which regions along the coast are of significant importance to whales. Special effort was directed towards humpback whale bubble-net feeding behaviour, prey selection, and the in-depth social connections whales have with each other from the mother and calf bond to relationships between whales that have existed for decades and do not depend on kinship.
As we visited each community, our aim was to develop partnerships with coastal First Nation communities to support the development of their own whale monitoring projects through Guardian Watchmen and similar programs. NCCS actively reaches out to students within each community--the next generation of stewards--to participate on all levels, including participation during marine mammal surveys.
We preformed a transect surveys along the BC coast from Prince Rupert to River's Inlet, stopping at Hartley Bay, Kitimat, Caamano Sound, Klemtu, Bella Bella, Bella Coola and the Wuikinuxv Nation in Rivers Inlet. With time spent in each community to document whale activity in the surrounding area.