The Southern Gulf Islands Whale Sighting Network
is a volunteer citizen-led organization for monitoring and gathering field data on whale movements around Saturna, Pender and Mayne Islands. This data is used to better understand the Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW), Bigg’s (Transient) killer whales, humpbacks, minke and other cetacean species, and support them in their natural habitat in the Salish Sea.
Our sighters observe, record, and identify all cetaceans from land, with particular interest in the new travel patterns of the endangered Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW), the increasing population of Bigg’s (Transient) killer whales, and the humpback whale return. We do this through direct observation and data collection, including visual reports, photos, distances verified with range finders, and professional quality hydrophone recordings. We identify the pods and individuals when we have adequate information. This data is collected and published in an annual report that is shared with various governmental organizations that make decisions about human activity in the Salish Sea.
We encourage viewing whales from shore. Our eyes-on-the-water methods discourage commercial and pleasure boat disturbance to whales. We support efforts to reduce human-caused underwater noise which has been proven to disturb feeding activity and the health of whales.