Whale researchers are urging boaters to use extra caution on the water when whales are in the area.

Jackie Hildering says Humpbacks have come back from the brink of extinction and are being spotted more frequently on the coast.

She says they behave differently than Orcas which can result in conflicts between the whales and boats.

“They don’t have bio-sonar in the way of tooth whales like Orcas, so they can be [very] oblivious of boats, especially when they’re feeding.”

She adds that, “they’re moving often much more randomly – they’re in our cold, rich waters in order to feed so they can be down for long dives and then suddenly surface in front of your boat.”

The Marine Education and Research Society has launched a campaign called ‘See a blow? Go slow!’ (seeablowgoslow.org) to encourage boaters to slow down if they see Humpbacks in the area.

It is also encouraging boaters to use whale watching flags to alert other boaters that there are whales in the area and to slow down.

More on the Society can be found through their Facebook page: facebook.com/mersocietybc.