I just finished reading the book – Listening to Whales by Alexandra Morton. I have always been fascinated with killer whales and it was such a treat to get the inside scoop from a woman who has researched killer whales for over 25yrs.
Alexandra speaks about her life photographing the whales dorsal fins and saddles which each are distinct and she eventually got very familiar with each whale and pod by name and category in the northern Vancouver Island waters.
She had experienced the Atlantic salmon farms rise up on the coastlines of the Broughton Archipelago where she lives and has witnessed the devastation to the natural eco system that they bring. The whales have fled the area because of the loud blasting noises the salmon farms had used to scare off seals and porpoises from the fenced in farms in the ocean (acoustic Harassment Devices (AHD). According to Wikipedia: After Alexandra Morton sent thousands of letters to the government opposing the use of AHD’s, and the salmon farmers finally withdrew their use in 2001 but the killer whales still have not come back to the Archipalago.
Alexandra continues to live in Echo Bay and she runs a research station in the small northern community. An environmentalist at heart she strongly believes in protecting the natural habitat and the eco system where she lives.
I realized after reading her book that I had actually paddled right by the research station in echo bay in the Broughton Archipelago. If I had only known more about Alexandra Morton at that time… It would have been wonderful to stop in and say hello and meet her in person. Maybe it will happen one day.
I came across a great article about Alexandra here: http://kickasscanadians.ca/dr-alexandra-morton
More info on Alexandra and her work can be found on:
If you are interested please take a peek at a Delta kayak promo video that I assisted in filming while on an 8 day sea kayaking trip in the Johnstone Strait and Broughton Archipelago Marine Park - http://vimeo.com/12817311