Happy World Oceans Day!
The world's oceans are home to some of the most bio diverse ecosystems on our planet. Here in British Columbia, coastal kelp forests, reefs, and tidal pools are home to a wide variety of fish, marine mammals, invertebrates, crustaceans, and birds.
To celebrate World Oceans Day, I thought I'd talk to you about one of the coast's most iconic animals, the killer whale.
These iconic whales can be found in British Columbia's coastal waters. In fact, there are two different sub species. Transient killer whales feed on marine mammals such as seals, while resident killer whales feed on fish. On the South coast, in the Straits of Georgia and Haro, three pods of resident killer whales, or Orcas, exist. These are the J,K, and L pods. During the summer, these Orcas feed on salmon as they gather near the coast, while waiting to head up river to spawn. The Orca's favourite specie of salmon is the Chinook.
Due to coastal pollution, as well as noise pollution, the southern resident Orcas are an endangered species. Luckily, over the last few years, we have had a baby boom within the pods. More and more calves are born every year, bringing hope to the future of these endangered pods. In addition, there are also many ways in which we can protect these pods. One of which is protecting important salmon habitats and populations, since salmon are the main food source for these animals. Another solution is to limit the amount of tankers going through their habitat. British Columbia's Lower Mainland sees many tankers leave its ports every day, making life for these Orcas difficult. Why do tankers disturb Orcas? While hunting, Orcas echolocate. To successfully accomplish this evolutionary wonder, Orcas require quiet waters. Unfortunately, tankers are very loud and can disrupt Orcas while they are hunting, posing a large threat to their survival.
Due to people's love for Orcas, the future for the Southern resident Orcas is bright. Once people are aware of the threats facing Orcas, they will want to take action to protect them. The protection of these endangered Orcas is one of the many conservation efforts being led by passionate individuals and organizations around the world. Together, we can help protect Orcas and their marine ecosystem!
- Sam MacTavish
I'm using my power as a photographer to highlight nature's beauty and the reasons worth protecting our incredible planet