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

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Port Alberni care homes benefit from funding to purchase new safety equipment

Echo Village and Fir Park Village will be receiving $32,500 each

Uchucklesaht Tribe purchases former Redford School

Property will be a “multi-use building” similar to The Thunderbird

Merry Makers create new craft fair for Port Alberni

Hansen Hall fair begins as Work of Heart organizers retire

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Harsh storms have nearly tripled power outages in last five years, BC Hydro says

More frequent and severe storms have damaged Hydro’s electrical systems since 2013

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

North Cowichan is Canada’s hot spot on Wednesday

The Warmland lives up to its name

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Most Read