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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

An iPod in the whale kingdom

This is the second update from the Broughton Archipelago by Jodi Stark, winner of Living Oceans Society's Way I See It contest.

Out at sea on the Maple Leaf, we saw the iPod playing and splashing and jumping around. An iPod? What?

Each pod of resident orcas in BC waters is given a letter for easy identification. Long before the popular music player, this particular pod was dubbed the I-Pod. They surrounded us and put on quite the show- big bursting spouts through their blowholes, playful tail slaps and curious spyhops. It was another magical experience for us this week.

These whales are fish eaters and seemed to be happily feeding around these waters of the Broughton Archipelago. In fact, the wildlife here has been so abundant that, without being able to see underwater, we can only assume there is a plethora of fish, seaweed, plankton and invertebrates feeding the whole system.

It's easy to see how this region has captured the hearts of so many people who are working hard to ensure that this area continues to thrive in face of its many threats.

Last week I went to the Cohen Commission Inquiry to learn about disease affecting wild salmon. This is an important judicial inquiry and much will be learned, analyzed and hopefully concluded about the cause of the decline of the Fraser River Sockeye salmon.

Research and analysis are an important part of marine conservation. But it's these inspiring moments out at sea surrounded by orcas, humpbacks, seabirds, salmon and sea lions are where ideals, beliefs and perspectives get crystallized.

All of us onboard, young and old, are going home with a new appreciation and love for the Broughton Archipelago and a respect and admiration for the world's oceans and its wildlife.

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