The Orca is such an iconic representation of what Whale Watching is about here in Campbell River. When we ask our guests on the boat what they want to see, Orca (commonly called Killer Whales) often top the list. We are fortunate to have two main species of Orca here on the coast, Residents (salmon-eaters) and Transients (mammal-eaters).
Orca travel in groups known as “pods,” and each pod is given a name. Each orca in the pod are identified and named using alphanumeric codes. Orca are typically identified by looking at their “saddlepatch” which is the grey marking just behind their dorsal fin. We try and collect as many pictures as we can while we are out whale watching, so we can submit and help researchers track and learn more about these magnificent creatures.
The whales typically stay in these pods their entire lives, which make them very easy to track and study. They are often seeing moving at high speeds as they travel up the coast looking for food. You’ll notice boats keep their distance because in Canada, we are now required to stay 200m away from our Orca, and 400m if you are south of Quadra (unless given a special exemption from DFO).
If you’d like to learn more about our Orca, check out the Vancouver Aquarium’s Website!