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Thanks to Lance Bennett-Lennard for the flying cetacean!
General · 16th June 2013
Sandra Milligan
On Thursday June 20 Sierra Quadra and the Discovery Passage Aquarium will co-host a popular event led by Caitlin Birdsall, Coordinator of the BC Cetaceans Sighting Network. The venue is the Thulin Room at the Maritime Heritage Centre in Campbell River – with an added treat for attendees: free admission to the new Discovery Passage Aquarium, from 6 to 6:45pm. Caitlin’s presentation begins at 7pm.

Caitlin will introduce her audience to the 23 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises commonly found in local waters, six of which are endangered or threatened. She’ll explain how information about their movements and activities can help scientists to inform conservation and recovery decisions. “With such a large coastline, collecting information can be very expensive and challenging,” she says. “Observations made by the public can be so important to add to our knowledge. The BC Cetacean Sighting Network allows the public to participate by reporting their sightings online or by calling 1-866-I-SAW-ONE.”

Deb Cowper, Discovery passage Aquarium Manager, says “Education is a primary goal of the Discovery Passage Aquarium and we are very happy to host this opportunity to share information about these amazing creatures. The Aquarium staff will be entering our observation of a humpback whale at Discovery Pier on Sunday June 2 for starters!”

“We held a similar event in January 2011 as part of the “Our Oceans, Our Future” weekend, and it was very well received,” says Robyn Budd of Sierra Quadra.

The BC Cetaceans Sightings Network is a joint program of the Vancouver Aquarium and Fisheries and Oceans Canada with funding from the Government of Canada Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. Public observers may include ferry personnel, recreational and charter boaters, and coastal residents. “Information from remote locations is particularly interesting as we may have little or no data from these isolated places; we know Campbell River and area residents love to be on the water and we would be very appreciative to learn of their observations,” Caitlin notes.

The event will start at 6pm, when the Aquarium will open for those attending the talk. The 1 to 1.5 hour presentation will start at 7pm in the Thulin Room of the Maritime Heritage Centre. The interactive presentation includes video clips, whale vocalizations, and take-home materials. Entry for both the talk and the aquarium is by donation. See www.discoverypassageaquarium.ca and wildwhales.org for more information or call Deb Cowper at 250-287-6179.