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

B.C. Green Party pushes for wild salmon commissioner

The role would serve as a unifying force in the provincial government

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf will not sail until mid-July

BC Ferries had hoped to get the vessel in September of last year, but it didn’t arrive until December

UPDATED: Horgan says B.C. defending its interests in Trans Mountain pipeline

Canadian finance minister’s update comes the same day Kinder Morgan shareholders plan to meet

5 things to know about B.C. Floods 2018

Snowpacks continue to melt causing thousands to be displaced, dozens of local states of emergency

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wed in Windsor as millions watch

Windsor sparkled on a warm spring day as tens of thousands of people jammed its quaint roads

Most Read