OrcaLab assistants 2017 – Karien

[Photo credit: Momoko Kobayashi] As many of us volunteers, I didn’t really know where to begin when I started to write this blog post. So I’ll take it back to last year, September 2016, when I just graduated from University. Decisions had to be made; do I start looking for a job or do I […]

OrcaLab assistants 2017 – Suzie

I write this with a tinge of sadness, as my time on Hanson Island has almost come to an end. In two days, I’ll be leaving behind one of the most beautiful places on earth. In one sense, it seems to have flown by so quickly, but in another, this place truly feels like home […]

OrcaLab assistants 2017 – Marissa

[Photo credit: Lea Specht] Finding the right words to describe my time here at OrcaLab has proven difficult. There have been so many memories made and experiences had, that anything I could say would fall short of accurately portraying the intensity with which the past two months’ events have been felt. One of my favourite […]

OrcaLab’s push to become oil free

For more years than I can remember, despite the great good fortune of being surrounded by the incredible beauty of British Columbia’s wilderness, we’ve been dependent on energy from oil to maintain our project and lifestyle. Over the years, we’ve gone through so many generators and burned so much fossil fuel to run them that […]

Corky’s saddest day number 47

December 11, 2016 Corky’s saddest day number 47 It’s hard to know what it actually means for her, but today, December 11th 2016 marks the 47th anniversary of Corky’s capture. Separated from her family, and surrounded by concrete walls that totally exclude the sounds of the ocean, for nearly 5 decades she has been deprived […]

IWC66 postscript

  Postscript Beating the drum Sidney Holt’s book Save the Whale! Memoirs of a whale hugger may not yet be a best seller (it will be) but it encourages me to believe that we (the whales) will win. Win what? The privilege of spending the next generation, hundreds, thousands of years swimming around in a […]

IWC 66 Day Five

IWC 66 Day Five The sands of time Day Five of this meeting was devoted to Finance and Administration, a normally pedestrian subject, but one that produced unexpected drama. The resolution on providing assistance to countries with limited means came back to the floor in a form that didn’t please a large number of delegations, […]

IWC 66 Day Four

IWC 66 Day Four Back down the rabbit hole This all very familiar, and so so strange. The last time the International Whaling Commission met, the plenary proceedings took 4 days. Afterwards, the Secretariat sent around a survey asking for suggestions about how to make things better. A common response was to add a day, […]

IWC 66 Day Three

IWC 66 Day Three Going going The morning of this day was all about numbers. Some sounded pretty good, like the recovery of southern hemisphere humpback whales to 70% of their “carrying capacity”. I’m not sure whether “carrying capacity” refers to the original population size before the wanton slaughter began, or to the ability of […]

IWC 66 Day Two

A blast from the past And a rude awakening Sidney Holt has saved more whales than anyone. It’s a bland but totally true statement. Were it not for Sidney, the blue whale would probably be gone from the face of the Earth. Extinct. Fin and humpback whales would not be far behind. Hundreds of thousands […]