VIDEO: Strangely energetic harbour porpoises hang out off B.C.’s north coast

Research biologists who took boat out in Prince Rupert’s harbour say porpoises’ activity is unique

They may be small and elusive, but lately a large group of harbour porpoises, full of energy, have been hanging out in the mouth of the Prince Rupert harbour.

Research squad Caitlin Birdsall and Karina Dracott with the North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative took their boat out into the harbour to have a look at the uncommon sighting for themselves.

“We saw a lot of high-level activities with the porpoises. There were mothers and calves out there, which was really great to see,” Dracott said. “Every direction we looked, they were flying through the water. There’s a lot of energy, which usually they’re kind of slow moving.”

The porpoises were moving so quickly, they had trouble capturing them on camera.

READ MORE: Lone killer whale explores Prince Rupert harbour

For the past two years, the research team has been studying the animals, a special concern species, in the Prince Rupert area. They use an underwater listening device called a sea pod to listen for high frequency clicks that the harbour porpoises emit.

“We have a land-based spot that we take a high-powered scope out, and we basically count the number of harbour porpoises using that area,” Birdsall added.

What makes this active group in the harbour even more unusual, Dracott said, is the vessel traffic in the area. Along the coast, it’s the second largest aggregation of harbour porpoises they’ve seen on an annual basis.

“One of the reasons we want to understand how they’re using that area and when they’re using it is to be able to work with different industry groups to better protect and reduce disturbance,” Birdsall said.

READ MORE: Marine activity growth leads to protection plan

Citizens are encouraged to do their part as well. They can download the free WhaleReport app from the Ocean Wise Conservation Association to report harbour porpoises, whales, and dolphins in the area.

To report a typo, email: editor@thenorthernview.com.


Shannon Lough | Editor
Shannon Lough 
Send Shannon email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sewer project kiboshed by Vernon residents

Majority rules: Okanagan Landing residents say ‘no’ to Claremont Sewer hookup

Vernon ski racer chosen for grant in end game

Makena Kersey, 18, has called it a career following a gruesome leg injury, but story inspires grant

Vernon’s own CSI digging into crime mysteries

Forensic Identification Section a specialized support unit used in various cases

Sagmoen’s in-custody statements under judge’s scrutiny

Sagmoen’s lawyer said statements made by him while in police custody were not provided voluntarily

‘It’s almost surreal’: South Okanagan fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

About cyclists and bike paths

LETTER: Kalamalka Road bike path bad design

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Most Read