Researchers capitalized on a summer without cruise ship traffic to hear how whales respond to a quieter underwater world.
It's Time to Listen
1x7 min for
Producer/Director: Louisa Gilbert
Camera: Dierdre Leowinata, Megan-Hockin-Bennett, and Tavish Campbell
Editor: Kai White
Sound: EarWorm Sound
Associate Producer: Katrina Pyne
Additional Footage: OrcaLab and Hakai Institute
Made in partnership with
The onset of COVID-19 created devastation worldwide. But for whale researchers like Janie Wray, who has been studying the unique calls of killer, humpback, and fin whales in British Columbia for more than 20 years, the pandemic presented a unique opportunity—a chance to hear how whales respond to a quieter underwater world.
Wray, the lead researcher for BC Whales and the CEO of the nonprofit North Coast Cetacean Society, seized the moment to partner with her colleagues Paul Spong and Helena Symonds at OrcaLab to hear how whales communicate when the underwater landscape is free from the chugging, droning, and ear-splitting sounds of cruise ships.
The work will ultimately help the researchers learn more about habitat usage and how moving shipping lanes could mitigate the impact of noise pollution on whales. In the meantime, all they have to do is listen.
Read the full story and watch the film here.
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