One of the very best things about cruising our pacific coastal waters, is the opportunity to see a whole host of different wildlife species in their natural habitat. Just a few of the animals which you are likely to come across include eagles, herons, otters, seals and sea lions, porpoises and of course, if you are fortunate, whales.
British Columbia is home to many different species including Humpback whales, Grey whales, Pacific White-sided Dolphins and Killer Whales or Orcas and it is not uncommon to see them all in our local waters. Despite the excitement of seeing one of these magnificent and majestic creatures it is important to remember that with boaters and whales safety must come first.
Collisions can and do happen. It is important to slow down if you see a “blow” and to be aware of your speed and distance from any whales you spot. It is best to keep at least 200 metres away at all times. And a mandatory 400 meters away from killer whales.
Certain areas on the southern BC Coast are also designated as critical habitat for endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales and boaters should familiarize themselves with these more stringent federal rules when transiting through whale sanctuaries.
Additional information can be found here: https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/mammals-mammiferes/watching-observation/index-eng.html