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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District residents split on Teacup property development

DOK survey indicates a close split in favour and against exclusion application

Chilliwack youth planning solidarity march against racism

Organizer hoping to ‘create a type of a energy in the city that we will not be silent about racism’

PHOTOS: Harrison Hot Springs Resort reopens

Reopening both celebrated and sombre as Harrison opens up again

Fraser River freshet peak is coming soon

Predictions for 2020 by River Forecast Centre has the freshet peak at the Mission gauge for June 4-5

VIDEO: Fraser Valley Bandits super fan celebrates 100th birthday

Abbotsford resident Gladys Sautter surprised by Bandits representatives on big day

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read