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A humpback whale tail with distinctive scars and scrapes
 
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how it works directing data b.c.'s species ex-sightings
 


Directing Data

The B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network uses its database to help cetaceans. Here’s how:

Researchers use the data for conservation, research or education
With records of where the cetaceans are and what they do there, scientists can get an idea of where important habitats are. When the Canadian Wildlife Service wanted to create a marine protected area to keep marine wildlife safe, the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network’s database was used to make sure that cetaceans would benefit from protecting the area.

 

 
 

  Pectoral fins are a key feature used to identify humpback whales. These fins can be up to 1/3 the length of the whale's body. A humpback whale's long, white pectoral fin
 
 
     
 

Data not released for whale watching
The information in the database is not given to the public for whale watching purposes. This protects cetaceans from being exposed to too much boat traffic, which could disrupt their feeding or resting. It also allows people who live in remote locations to keep their privacy when they spot and report a cetacean in their backyard.

If you’d like to use the information for research, conservation or educational purposes, however, you can contact sightings@vanaqua.org and apply for access.

If you’re looking for tips on where to go on your next B.C. whale watching trip, try using a tour operator who follows the marine mammal watching guidelines. If you’re going out boating on your own, don’t forget to follow the guidelines yourself.

 
     
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