Harlequin the Humpback Whale was hit by a boat. See video below.
This is one of the seven known hits of Humpback Whales between July 20 and August 11, 2023
Three hits involved MUCH larger vessels – a cruise ship, ferry, and a large catamaran. See our previous blog post for detail about this vessel strikes.
This is the only case where identity and fate of the Humpback is known. Harlequin is being monitored by local whale watchers and #Straitwatch.
We are sharing to increase awareness of collision and how much can be done to reduce risk – from boater education, to use of #WhaleWarningFlags, to slow down and avoidance zones.
The area where this happened is known to have many Humpbacks at this time of year (Sutil Channel to Mittlenatch).
The whales can be resting right below the surface or are feeding and can suddenly surface or become acrobatic.
In this case, Harlequin had been active at the surface. There was a whale watching boat near and people were signalling to the boat to stop.
This is not about blame and vilification.
This is about learning and avoidance.
See out bundling of information on the laws and best practices to avoid collision at www.SeeABlowGoSlow.org
#WhaleSafeBoating #SeeABlowGoSlow #BoaterEducation #BoatingBC #whateveryboatershouldknow