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Our Research

Since the mid-1980s, Ocean Wise has conducted conservation-oriented research on killer whales, belugas, and other marine mammals. The program focuses on long-term studies of marine mammal populations and the threats these at-risk populations face. The program’s particular strengths are in cetacean (whale, dolphin and porpoise) distribution and abundance, acoustic behaviour, population genetics, and photogrammetric monitoring of health and condition of killer whales and humpback whales.


Wild whales face many threats. Of the 23 species of whales, dolphins, porpoises, and sea turtles found in the waters of British Columbia, 12 are listed under Canada’s Species at Risk Act as Endangered, Threatened, or of Special Concern. These animals face many anthropogenic (human-caused) threats that negatively impact critical life processes necessary to maintain healthy populations. Explore the primary threats impacting cetaceans and sea turtles in British Columbia below.

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