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Welcome to OrcaLab!

In 1970, Dr. Paul Spong founded OrcaLab, a small land based whale research station nestled against the evergreen forest of Hanson Island in the waters of the "Inside Passage" of northern Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

The work of OrcaLab is centred on the philosophy that it is possible to study the wild without interfering with lives or habitat. A network of hydrophones, positioned around the orcas' "core habitat", helps us monitor their movements all year round. Supplementing the acoustic data are visual sightings of orcas as they pass OrcaLab, and reports from land observation sites staffed by OrcaLab volunteers during the summer "season", as well as reports from other researchers and whale watchers who share observations and information. Since 1994, OrcaLab has operated a video monitoring station on Cracroft Point in Johnstone Strait that allows the unobtrusive collection of both surface and underwater images of orcas and other ocean life. Beginning in 2000 and continuing through 2005, OrcaLab and Japan's NTT Data Corporation brought the everyday beauty of the orcas' lives to the Internet via www.orca-live.net. Plans for this project now include creating a production studio in a new operations base in Alert Bay. This will monitor and control a network of video cameras, enabling us to bring live imagery as well as live sounds to a worldwide audience via the Internet.

OrcaLab's work also includes vital conservation issues - preservation of orca habitat; release and rehabilitation of captive cetaceans, especially Corky; and bringing to an end the dismal era of commercial whaling.

OrcaLab is funded by individuals and organisations who value our efforts. If you wish to help, please continue to our monthly donation page or visit Shop and Support. Thank you!

Recent News

Two thumbs down

IWC 2014 Day One The 65th meeting of the International Whaling Commission, being held in fairytale seaside surroundings in Portoroz, Slovenia, began pretty much where the last meeting in Panama left off, with the issue of Greenland’s request to kill whales for “aboriginal” consumption. Readers who have followed the IWC story will recall that Greenland […]