- Photos of breaching humpbacks near Campbell River show thriving species!
Amazing images of breaching humpback whales captured near Campbell River are proof the Humpback whale population is thriving; whale watchers and experts say.
It’s an incredible encounter and a perfect example of the humpback comeback that we are witnessing off Campbell River”.
The number of humpbacks off the coast of B.C. has been estimated at around 21,000, according to researchers from the Washington-based Cascadia Research Collective.
The Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) says at least 4,000 humpbacks existed off the west coast of Vancouver Island alone in 1905 before commercial whaling decimated the population.
By the 1970s, when legal whaling was ended for the species, researchers say only 1,400 existed in the entire northern Pacific Ocean. That includes waters off Washington state, Oregon and Alaska.
Humpbacks most often eat smaller fish like herring, which has also seen signs of improvement despite the approval of a commercial fishery this past year.
But researchers say the whales are still under threat from vessels that travel too close.
MERS launched an educational campaign earlier this year aimed at preventing catastrophic collisions in the water, dubbed “See a Blow? Go Slow!”
Under new federal rules, all vessels including whale watching boats must stay at least 100 meters away from humpbacks and all other species besides killer whales, who have a 200-meter limit, In our Campbell River area, in Victoria, this is 200 meters from Humpback whales and 400 meters from Orcas .
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