Saturday, 22 June 2013

North Pacific right whale spotted off British Columbia for the first time for 60 years

Rare whale sighted off British Columbia coast

June 2013. For the first time in more 60 years, a North Pacific right whale has been spotted in British Columbia waters. Fisheries and Oceans Canada biologist James Pilkington made the discovery while surveying for whales off the west coast of Haida Gwaii on June 9, 2013. Pilkington and fellow Fisheries and Oceans Canada whale biologists John Ford and Graeme Ellis observed the whale for a total of 17 hours over the next few days as it foraged on zooplankton at the surface.

Only 6 sightings, and all were killed by whalers
Sightings of these whales are extremely rare - there are only six records of the species in Canadian waters over the past century, and all were killed by whalers; the last in 1951. Fewer than 50 individuals are thought to currently exist in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. North Pacific right whales are listed as Endangered in Canada.


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