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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

UPDATE: Highway 1 open to single-lane traffic west of Revelstoke due to flooding

The Needles Ferry is also experiencing major delays due to traffic backed up from Highway 1

Driver ticketed and hospitalized after highway crash near Sicamous

The two-vehicle collision took place near Bernie Road on June 26.

COVID-19: Okanagan libraries to reopen for browsing

More than 80,000 items loaned out through curbside pickup program ahead of Phase 3

Rising rivers possible as unsettled air enters Shuswap

Further rain and thunderstorms are a possibility as unsettled air crosses the rockies from Alberta.

Slow season at Okanagan U-pick farms

Lake Country farm owner Bruce Duggan said the rainy weather is turning people away

Okanagan man who rescued family from fire says it’s him who needed rescuing

Months after saving Linda Pakfec and her family from a burning building, Gord Portman says he’s clean

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Kootnekoff: B.C. Violated French Education Rights

Lawyer Susan Kootnekoff discusses British Columbia’s only French language school board

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Letter: Grateful for Shuswap’s search and rescue volunteers

Writer expresses gratitude for selfless members of rescue organization

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Letter: Salmon Arm’s numerous four-way intersections frustrate

Writer offers reminder to drivers of when to yield

Most Read