Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Fundraising
  • Green Whale
  • Kids blogs
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whale (balaenoptera physalus) Three fin whales Gulf of California.

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Orca (ID171) breaches off the coast of Scotland © Steve Truluck.

Watching whales and dolphins in the wild can be life changing

Whales and dolphins are too intelligent, too large and too mobile to ever thrive in...
Kiska the orca

Real stories from the dark side of captivity

Since we launched our campaign, we've been talking a lot about what a dark place...

Winter at OrcaLab

A guest post from David and Brittney Cannamore who are caretaking OrcaLab for Paul and Helena for the winter with the help of their cat, Porter, and rabbit, Penny. They’re spending their days scanning for transients, roaming in the woods, and keeping the wood stove roaring. Originally from Alaska, they’re enjoying the “warm” British Columbia winter.

You can follow them online at http://www.raincoastwanderings.com, where they post day to day accounts on life at the lab and other happenings in the natural world.


A happy new year to WDC and all of its members from David and Brittney here on Hanson Island. We hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday season. Christmas morning dawned with a fantastic rosy red sky and golden clouds wrapped around the distant mountains of Vancouver Island. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful scene to enjoy the holiday. The weather as a whole has been very mild the past few weeks with plenty of calm days where the waters of Blackney stand still. We’ve been outside enjoying as many of them as possible, knowing the next big winter storm can never be that far away.

The orcas have been sporadic the past month, though keen eyes south of us near Campbell River reported the A42s swimming by on January 9th. This isn’t unusual for the A42s in the winter as they are the most common resident family to frequent the Strait this time of year. We’ve been listening closely to the hydrophones since, hoping to catch them when they travel west back our way. So far there has been no sign of them. It is possible that they slipped out via Havannah Channel, but we’re still hoping to hear A calls piping in from Critical Point one of these days.

The transients (Bigg’s orcas) continue to make semi regular forays into Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound, including some odd calls in the morning and evening of December 30th. Helena and Paul confirmed they were, “peculiar sounding transients,” but it created quite a stir for us here. I was holding out hope that it may have been offshores which are known to frequent the area on occasion in the winter. Despite the occasional calls, we haven’t seen an actual orca since early December, it feels odd to be here so long and not a six foot dorsal cutting through the pass. We’ll keep a weather eye out our windows, specifically near the sea lion haul out which is known to attract some attention this time of year. Should we see anything we’ll let the world know via the orca live facebook page and http://orca-live.net/community/index.html.

To the south, we were thrilled to hear about the arrival of a new born baby orca in the southern Resident community, just weeks after the death and necropsy of Rhapsody (J32). The new arrival, christened J50 was photographed on December 30th, and is the latest talisman of hope for the endangered population that now numbers 78 individuals. Orca infant survival rate is very volatile their first few years and we will be closely following the Center For Whale Research’s updates on the new baby who has been confirmed as female.

Just as I rave about our fantastic weather, the wind kicks up, the sea turns to foam, and forty knot winds begin to buffet the house. It’s turning into a wonderful day to drink coffee and read. We hope wherever you may be, that you have the opportunity to do the same today. Cheers and all the best from Hanson Island.

 David and Brittney