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Newfoundland orcas surprise the world
We have been documenting the orcas of Newfoundland and Labrador since the 1990s. Numerous 2013 sightings around the Northeast coast and offshore accompanied by some dramatic behavioral observations were followed by a big ice year and more orca sightings in the southern part of our province. We are very excited about our 2015 Southern Labrador Adventure program. You can follow our orca adventures more closely by following our facebook page.
Most of our work has been in southern Labrador as we came to discover, know, and recognize the region’s orcas. Our work was the backbone of Canada’s 2009 assessment document for the North Atlantic orca population; additionally we have worked collaboratively with the world’s best known orca scientists from New Zealand to the Antarctic to the UK’s Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. In 2011 Company president David Snow wrote a book on the orcas of Atlantic Canada.
You can check out this popular new document at http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2179790 This book was inspired during August 2010 when groups of familiar orcas left the Labrador Sea and swam south to Trinity Bay and St. John’s where they hunted and killed minke whales and dolphins in front of hundreds of tourists out on humpback whale and puffin watching excursions. Dave Snow’s photo of the orcas with an unfortunate minke made Canada’s National newspaper (the Globe and Mail) plus other Canadian and European newspapers. Seldom has the raw and brutal power of the ocean’s top predator (after man) been so dramatically witnessed by so many people. Images and videos continue to circulate around the world. The data collected by our Wildland Tours excursions and by Atlantic Whales collaborators suggests that orca numbers are growing in Newfoundland and Labrador waters while the orca sightings around Bonavista and Trinity Bay suggest that many of the orcas we documented in the Labrador Sea are now enjoying the rich summer feeding to the south along Newfoundland’s Iceberg Alley.
The website www.atlanticwhales.com describes the whale research our Wildland Tours guests and staff support during our excursions. The photo accompanying this article was taken by leader Jean Knowles during our last Newfoundland Adventure departure of 2010 when our guests were lucky enough to encounter the orcas. These guests also saw sperm whales, humpbacks, minkes, and dolphins during their time with us.