A sperm whale is spotted in Johnstone Strait. (Jared Towers).

First sighting of sperm whale in B.C. strait

DFO scientist says whale may have been exploring new waters or looking for more food sources

A sperm whale has been spotted for the first time in Johnstone Strait off Vancouver Island.

Jared Towers, a cetologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, says Lisa Larsson from Orcalab, a whale research station in the Inside Passage, first heard and recorded the animal in the strait on Monday.

“We knew the sperm whale was there before we saw it because we were listening to it,” Towers says.

“They are unmistakable,” he says. “They are probably the most unique-looking of all the whales.”

Towers says it’s possible the sperm whale was exploring new waters or looking for additional food sources.

“One has to remember that the species was heavily hit by whalers in the early 1900s.”

Sperm whales were detected in Johnstone Strait in February 1984 by researcher John Ford, who had acoustic recordings of the mammal, but this is the first time the animal has been seen.

READ MORE: Orcas off B.C. coast surprise prawn fishermen

READ MORE: B.C. man captures images of large orca pod near Sechelt

Just Posted

Heavy snowfall for Coquihalla

Kelowna - Snowfall is expected to continue on the highway until Sunday

Penticton rally set for Indigenous homicide victims

Rally in support of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine set for Monday at noon at the courthouse

Snow impacting flights at Kelowna airport

Tough conditions have delayed several flights and cancelled others at the regional airport

Team qualifies for provincials

The Summerland Middle School boys Grade 8 basketball team won the South Okanagan Zone Playoffs

Summerland badminton club building upgraded

Building on Prairie Valley Road was constructed in 1934

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

B.C. Winter Games athletes work for gold in the last full day of competition

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadian’s to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

BCHL Today: Cowichan Caps play spoiler and Nanaimo wins 10th straight game

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Trudeau ends troubled India trip in his comfort zone of hockey and youth

The players, 18-25, came to New Delhi from Ladakhi in northern India, as part of outreach program

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Kim Boutin named Canada’s flag bearer for closing ceremony

Two more medals for Canada, including the bronze in men’s hockey

Most Read