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North Coast Initiative


Community Based
Cetacean Research

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre’s North Coast Initiative is the northern extension of our cetacean research program. Established in 2014 and based in Prince Rupert, the initiative aims to create a community-based cetacean research program in the North that allows for better long-term monitoring of an area that has previously had less intensive research than more southerly areas of the coast.  Monthly index surveys throughout the year and more intensive summer field work are helping us better understand the whales, dolphins and porpoises of the region.

Harbour porpoises

Expanding Our Research

The North Coast Initiative acts as a northern node to promote and expand the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network program, the Aquarium’s coast-wide citizen science project that engages mariners, industry and coastal residents in reporting their cetacean sightings. By establishing relationships and partnerships with local mariners, as well as providing targeted training and ongoing support for observers in the North, the amount of cetacean information from this region is growing rapidly.  

Beyond Research

Additionally, the North Coast Initiative undertakes extensive community and school outreach on cetaceans and marine conservation throughout the region and looks to facilitate conversations in the community about marine matters through the North Coast Ocean Speaker Series.

Killer whale


Thanks For Your Support

Supported by BG Canada, the North Coast Initiative monitors cetacean population through field work and citizen science, facilitates collaborative regional marine research and brings marine education opportunities to youth and the community.  


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Did You Know?

Did You Know?

97 percent of all animals on Earth are invertebrates. 
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