During the summer of 2017, we will be performing an abundance study on humpback whale, fin whale, and orca populations along the northern coast of BC. Additionally this study will look at habitat use and whale "hot-spots" to determine which regions along the coast are of significant importance to whales. Special effort will be 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 visit each community, we aim 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 will actively reach out to students within each community--the next generation of stewards--to participate on all levels, including participation during marine mammal surveys.
We will be performing 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. Time will be spent in each community to document whale activity in the surrounding area.