Peder and Ann again capture the activity on one of their days from their visit in July, 2015. For me as a guide and I know from the guest comments this is one of the highlights of a day on the water – a group of Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Such a clear and sharp photo emphasizes the speed of these dolphins as they keep pace with our boat. The Marine Mammal Watching Guidelines say we are to stay one hundred meters from the dolphins but unfortunately or fortunately depending on your point of view the dolphins cannot read.
The last 3 years we have been starting to view sea otters in our area more regularly. They are still often a distance away, but the sightings are increasing with some “rafts” of them developing in areas near the western portion of our whale watching trips. These animals were hunted heavily for their fur and were completely wiped out of British Columbia waters. Re-introduction occurred from Alaskan otters in the 1960’s. They have long been protected and their numbers have been steadily increasing along the exposed BC coast and are now moving back into inside waters. They are unique in that they don’t have the insulating blubber that other marine mammals use to keep warm. As a result they have dense (over 1 million hairs per square inch) fur and feed heavily. They are important in balancing the eco-system. They eat a lot of sea urchins, which eat a lot of kelp. Kelp is extremely important as it provides cover for juvenile fish and is where the herring spawn in the early spring. With the increase in these otters we are seeing a greater abundance and healthier kelp forests.Visit our Blog