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All cetaceans live in a world in which they are dependent on sound. As we depend mostly on sight as a means for survival, whales perceive information about their environment through sound. Therefore noise pollution has now become a great concern for these mammals as more and more boat traffic and underwater devices are becoming evident in all areas around the world.

A relatively new threat for cetaceans is the use of low frequency active sonar sound waves ( LFA). It is becoming obvious that the use of this active sonar to detect the presence of modern submarines is responsible for a number of whale and dolphin strandings.

The current provincial government of BC is determined to lift the moratorium for offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling between the north coast of BC and Queen Charlotte Island. This is one of Canada's most ecologically diverse marine areas. Imagine choosing a location to drill for oil along a centuries old migratory path of humpback whales and pacific salmon. Where different orca populations now thrive. Seismic testing is used to determine the location of oil and gas. This involves extremely high pressure of sound waves that creates a threat to marine mammals and fish. The level of sound used can cause damage to fish with swim bladders and hemorrhaging in the inner ear and brains of cetaceans. This area is famous for massive winter storms and is along the Queen Charlotte Fault line. Here the most severe Canadian earthquake in history has been recorded, with a magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter Scale!! Both could cause a potential oil spill that would devastate this coastline.

The northern waters of British Columbia surround one of the few remaining intact areas of coastal rainforest. It is in this precise location that a moratorium on salmon fish farms has been removed. It is difficult to conceive that we would tolerate an activity that will endanger the wild stocks of salmon, a keystone species whose very presence can determine the fate of so many other species. Of the 137 species with a definite link to salmon, Orcas are considered the most dependent.

We will use this page and the "Daily Journal" to post these and other concerns with the hope to broaden the public's knowledge of such occurrences as well share with you the vocal activity and interactions of these whales that have placed themselves in the hearts of so many.


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