Our contribution to whale research

Image: Jeremy Koreski

When you take a tour with West Coast Aquatic Safaris, you’ll notice that a $2 “eco fee” is attached to the cost of admission.  People often ask what this fee is for and where the money goes.

At West Coast Aquatic Safaris, we feel that whale and other wildlife research is vital not only to our company, but also to the protection of whales and other species internationally.  Each year, we look at various organizations and study their mandate to help us decide whom we would like to contribute to.  This year, we have chosen to make two contributions: one local, and one international.

Every year in mid March, Tofino hosts the Pacific Rim Whale Festival.  This festival celebrates the arrival of spring in

This year we celebrated the 25th year of the Pacific Rim Whale Festival

addition to the arrival of the first of many species of whales in Tofino.  Grey whales begin to surround Tofino as early as February, and by the time the festival arrives, upwards of 10, 000 grey whales can be found in our waters.  The Pacific Rim Whale Festival is a celebration of coastal wildlife in Tofino and a celebration of an amazing community seeking to understand more about our cetacean friends.  West Coast Aquatic Safaris has been a proud sponsor of the Pacific Rim Whale Festival for the last three years and is already counting down until next year’s festival!

For more information, please check out their link.

Our lead naturalist, Diana, has also played a huge role in helping us find international organizations to donate to.  Diana has spent her last 2 winters in and around Maui working with the Hawaii Whale Research Foundation.  This particular organization has a very unique approach to whale research and conservation.  While Humpbacks are of particular interest to the team, their research on other mammals around the area is excellent.  We are fortunate enough to have humpbacks in Tofino for the summers, and with Diana spending her winters with them, West Coast Aquatic Safaris can continue to learn more and more about them.  Next time you are on a trip on NANUQ, be sure to ask Diana about her winter work abroad!

So, there you have it.  The next time you come out with West Coast Aquatic Safaris you’ll know where the $2 eco fees goes.  If you have any questions about this, or any idea on where can donate next season, be sure to let us know!

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