HUMPBACK VIGILANTES

HUMPBACK VIGILANTES

The Altruistic Motivation of Whales

Interspecies adoption has forever fascinated me. For example, why would a leopard adopt an orphaned baby monkey or a lioness a small antelope? It’s easy for us to accept that our family dog has “feelings” yet science looks at any form of anthropomorphic thinking as misdirected scientific enquiry. There have been more than 100 reported cases of Humpback whales interfering with Orca hunting non-Humpback species including sunfish, porpoise, seals, sea lions and other marine mammals. It appears we have some Humpback heroes on the horizon!

In evolutionary biology, when an organism’s behaviour benefits other organisms, at a cost to itself, it is said to behave altruistically. Why would Humpback whales risk personal injury and expend so much energy to protect entirely different species?  This has been the center of marine ecologist Robert Pitman’s research at NOAA Fisheries. Pitman has analyzed 115 interactions between Humpbacks and Orca. An extraordinary incident occurred near the Antarctic peninsula where Pitman observed a Humpback offer protection to a Weddell seal by rolling onto it’s back and holding the seal on it’s belly above the waters surface and out of reach of a pod of marauding killer whales...

Tofino Fishing Report – August 2016

Tofino Fishing Report – August 2016

There is a certain magic about marinas first thing in the morning. Our inlet shores here in Tofino are lined with docks, and each and every day they spring to life with the characters and rhythms of our coast. Sunrises colour sea mist as it rises from chilly, murky depths, brightening docks and vessels left dormant and dew covered overnight. Captains and crews scuttle about starting engines, testing equipment, and chattering amongst themselves in preparation for the day ahead. I am a loving admirer of these moments. They resonate with timeless traditions the world over wherever marinas, fish, and particularly fishermen are found...

Tofino Fishing Report - July 2016

Tofino Fishing Report - July 2016

As I write this report my eight month old golden retriever puppy, Jenny Mustard, is crashed out on her back, asleep on my living room floor. Her head is conked over to one side, her front paws are curled up on her chest, and her two back legs are splayed apart revealing a very dirty tummy. There’s moss and small twigs in her fur, fish scales stuck to her paws, and an unidentified dark substance on one of her ears. Frankly she looks dead, and sort of smells like she might be...

Our Guides Keep Learning

Our Guides Keep Learning

Our guides are always learning! Continued education keeps our guides knowledge base growing and ultimately improves guest experience. Locally, the Raincoast Education Society consistently provides exceptional programs in our community. Guide Satch Robertson shares a bit about his Seaweeds of the West Coast Course.

“Seaweeds of the West Coast presented by Raincoast Education Society and marine biologist Katy Hind was an educational journey through Clayoquat sounds diverse intertidal zone. The workshop involved an introduction to biodiversity and ecology of local seaweeds, identification, conservation efforts and human relationships with algae....

Whale Talk

Whale Talk

Ever wonder about whale society? Whale culture and whale language dialects?...

This is a fascinating interview with marine biologist Shane Gero who has been studying the social and vocal behavior of Caribbean Sperm Whales. Even though Ocean Outfitters does not watch Sperm Whales off of Tofino, this research is incredibly interesting!