The Dall’s Porpoise is quite beautiful and common to the waters of the Pacific Northwest. They can reach up to 2.5 m and weigh up to 220 kg. Males are slightly larger and thicker than females. Those in the eastern Pacific are smaller than those in western Pacific waters. Read More….
The Gray Whale is one of our Pacific Northwest most popular whales to view, they can grow to more than 20 meters in length and weigh more than 36 tonnes. Gray whales usually live in small groups of up to 5 members. The largest pod observed though, had 16 members. Read More….
The waters along the Pacific Northwest coast are full of Harbor Seals! The harbor seal is the most widely distributed seal in the world, inhabiting temperate, subarctic & coastal areas on both sides of the north Atlantic and north Pacific Oceans. Read More….
Humpback Whales were at one time an endangered species but were saved from the very brink of extinction by a moratorium on whaling in 1966. Humpback whales travel thousands of miles every year in their migrations and are found in all oceans on the planet. They are seen regularly on their routes along the pacific northwest coast. Read More….
The Killer Whale, or Orca, is a common feature of the waters of the Pacific Northwest coast. They inhabit all oceans but are more common in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. Orcas are spotted in the warm waters but not often. Some whales are migrant and others like to stay in one area. They are called migrant and resident pods. Read More….
Northern Elephant Seal
The Northern Elephant Seal is a rare visitors to the BC coast. Elephant seals, like all seals, lack external ear flaps and crawl on land with rhythmic belly flops. In contrast, seals such as sea lions, have visible ears, & hind flippers used to turn underneath their bodies for walking. Read More….
There are 3 known species of these whales: northern, southern, and north Pacific. These whales calves are born blue to grey in color. The skin of adult right whales is usually dark grey or black, with white or tan patches. These patches are made up of whale lice and are used by researchers to identify individual whales. Read More….
The sea otter lives on the west coast of North America, with many living around Vancouver Island. The sea otter spends little time ashore, preferring to stay in the coastal kelp beds. Sea otters swim through the water using their long and powerful hind feet. Their forelegs are small in comparison, featuring 5-fingered hands, which are used to hold prey. Read More….
Steller Sea Lions
There are 7 species of sea lions in the world, although people tend to lump them into one category. Two of these live in the Pacific Northwest – the Steller sea lion and the California sea lion. They are very interesting animals, that can grow to extremely large sizes, males being much bigger than females. Read More….
The Island’s shores abound with a wild & diverse population of marine animals and plants. Whale watchers, naturalists, biologists & beachcombers journey across the world to enjoy the natural beauty of our shores, while divers throng to experience the dazzling, water wonderland, below.
Our warm climate is a result of warm ocean currents, that support many thousands of plants & animals, from plankton to the blue whale, and every species in between. One can encounter giant octopuses, ferocious-looking wolf eels that will eat from your hand, along with sea lions, varied fish, and playful otters. See for yourself…. Take a walk along the shore, or look at a tide pool during low tide, and notice how many different creatures you can spot.
Our assorted ocean marine life is home to many marine residents, both year-round, and those that visit throughout the year. From very large whales to smaller otters, our seas contain such color and form that it’s simply overwhelming!