Canada Rare sighting of sperm whale off B.C. coast

02:51  15 february  2018
02:51  15 february  2018 Source:   msn.com

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VANCOUVER — Researchers studying the activity of whales off British Columbia’s coast have had an unusual and “surreal” encounter with a sperm whale . Jared Towers is part of a Fisheries and Oceans Canada team monitoring the sound of cetaceans and marine mammals using a network of

Researchers studying the activity of whales off British Columbia's coast have had an unusual and "surreal" encounter with a sperm whale .

VANCOUVER - Researchers studying the activity of whales off British Columbia's coast have had an unusual and "surreal" encounter with a sperm whale.

Jared Towers is part of a Fisheries and Oceans Canada team monitoring the sound of cetaceans and marine mammals using a network of hydrophones in the Johnstone Strait off northeastern Vancouver Island.

Towers said his colleagues at a research station on Hanson Island heard an unusual echolocation and determined on Sunday that the sound didn't belong to orcas typically found in the area.

"We started inferring that it was a sperm whale and kind of convinced each other that's what it was," he said Wednesday.

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B . C . marine scientists are ecstatic after spotting a sperm whale in Johnstone Strait for the first time in more than three decades. New artificial reel off of the B . C . coast . 02:06.

A rare sperm whale sighting in inshore waters was captured on camera off Nanaimo, B . C ., on Wednesday around noon. Yukusam, a young male, was previously spotted in February in the Johnstone Strait, along the northeast coast of Vancouver Island.

They sent recordings to other specialists who study sperm whales and had their suspicion confirmed.

Sperm whales are typically found in deep waters offshore, Towers said. Males typically occupy cold waters while females and juveniles frequent waters in the tropics.

Conditions were too rough on Sunday to attempt tracking down the whale but Towers said the water was calm when he headed out with a colleague on Monday.

"I had to sleuth for it," he said.

Towers used a hydrophone to follow the sound of the whale, which would go quiet while it surfaced, leaving him and the team to wait and watch.

"We had to be patient," he said. "It was often 30 to 40 minutes between surfacing."

Towers said his colleague described the experience of spotting the whale as surreal, and he agrees.

Sperm whale spotted in B.C. strait for 1st time in decades

  Sperm whale spotted in B.C. strait for 1st time in decades A sperm whale has been confirmed on Vancouver Island's eastern coast for the first time since 1984.When cetacean ecologist Jared Towers and his colleagues first heard the calls from the mammal travelling through the strait several days ago, they were shocked. The last time a sperm whale was confirmed on Vancouver Island's eastern coast was an audio recording in 1984.

Sperm whale pods with more than 50 whales were seen today off the coast of Laguna Beach. Whale experts say the sight is a rare one. Sperm whales are found in tropical or subtropical waters.

Video footage has been captured of a large male sperm whale "bouncing" a long line, to gain the fish.[147] Sperm whales are believed to prey on the megamouth shark, a rare and large Sperm whales and blue whales sighted by fishermen off the coast of Pakistan. Arabian Sea Whale Network.

"I've worked and lived in the area almost my entire life. I spend a lot of days on the water researching whales, that's what I do, and I've never known there to be a sperm whale here before," he said. "It's pretty cool to know there is one out there and be fortunate enough to see it."

A sperm whale was last documented in British Columbia in 1984, and it was only heard, not seen, Towers said.

It's unclear why the whale came to the strait, but Towers said it could have been looking for a new source of food.

a boat in the water with a mountain in the background© Provided by thecanadianpress.com

The whale may have been attracted to fish and cephalopods, such as squid, in the area, Towers said, adding it was still there as of Wednesday morning.

The sperm whale's presence is likely an anomaly and doesn't indicate significant changes about the environment, Towers said, adding orcas that frequent the waters can be an important sign of health of the ecosystem.

"That's why I do the work I do," he said. "I like to see healthy whale populations out there."

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Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-63517-rare-sighting-of-sperm-whale-off-b-c-coast/

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