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Fin Whale Spotted Near Campbell River

September 27, 2012

Fin Whale

Fin Whale. Source Wikipedia

For the first time in recorded history, a fin whale was spotted in the Strait of Georgia. A Fisheries and Oceans cetacean research technician first photographed the whale near Campbell River, on the east coast of Vancouver Island, and the whale was later spotted cruising in the waters off Nanaimo.

Fin whales do frequent British Columbia, but are often unfamiliar because of their preference for the open waters of the central and north coasts. Researchers aren’t sure if this recent sighting means fin whales are expanding their territory, or if the whale was simply out for a sightseeing tour.

Little is known about the migration patterns, mating behaviour and population structure of fin whales because they were almost wiped out after decades of whaling. Even though their numbers are starting to recover, there is no accurate estimate of how many fin whales are in the Pacific Ocean and they are still listed as threatened under the Species at Risk Act.

Fin whales, which can measure 22 to 26 metres in length, are the second largest animal on earth after the famous blue whale. They’re known as the “greyhounds of the sea” and are capable of reaching speeds of nearly 50 kilometres per hour in quick bursts—faster than any other baleen whale.

If you happen to spot a fin whale, the BC Cetacean Sightings Network wants to know! Report your sightings by phoning
1-866-I-SAW-ONE.

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