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Ocean Wise recognizes BC Ferries and the BC Coast Pilots as top whale reporters

July 30, 2020

A Green Marine supporter, Ocean Wise has recognized two other Green Marine members as “top reporters” of 2019. British Columbia Ferry Services, a Green Marine participant, and British Columbia Coast Pilots Ltd., a Green Marine partner, are each cited among the small number of organizations for their leading efforts in reporting whale and other marine life sightings.

In 2019, 1,149 citizen scientists reported 9,797 whale, dolphin, porpoise and sea turtle sightings to the Ocean Wise BC Cetacean Sightings Network through the WhaleReport app. “Top reporter” status acknowledges an organization’s commitment to cetacean conservation. Every report made through the WhaleReport app provides scientists and conservationists with valuable data to protect at-risk species.

Whale sighting reports are integrated into the WhaleReport Alert System (WRAS) which, as of 2018, immediately notifies commercial mariners (such as ferries, cruise ships, tugboats and tankers) to the presence of a cetacean in their vicinity. The alerts facilitate mariners undertaking mitigation measures, such as slowing down or altering course, to reduce disturbances and the risk of collision.

The BC Cetacean Sightings Network (BCCSN) is an Ocean Wise Conservation Association program and a long-time collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. It was established to maintain whale reporting data in a consistent format that makes it valuable to researchers, NGOs and government.

All of the “top reporters” are listed on the BCCSN website, receive a certificate acknowledging their achievement, and obtain a window and e-decal to display their commitment to cetacean research and conservation.