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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

Corky’s saddest day # 45

In a few short hours from now, we will mark the 45th anniversary of Corky‚Äôs capture. Incredible. Incredible to think she has survived for so long, creating a new record for captive orca longevity with each breath; incredible to contemplate the strength of will and character that has enabled Corky to withstand the stress of […]