A pod of orcas has returned to a part of British Columbia where they have not been seen for years.
The orcas are from pod A5 and returned to Fife Sound, which is part of the Broughton Archipelago off north Vancouver Island. They were last seen there in 1995. That is when open-pen fish farms initially used a high-volume underwater speaker to scare away seals. Those fish farms have recently been removed.
Biologist Alexandra Morton has extensively studied the area’s marine life for more than 35 years and has become a vocal critic of open-pen fish farms. She feels the appearance of the whales is a sign the ecosystem is returning to normal.
“When you get an apex predator, someone that is at the top of the food chain, you can guess that the rest of the food chain is reconstituting underneath of it, because they can't go where there aren't a lot of fish,” Morton said.
Seventeen more fish farms are scheduled to be removed from a nearby area. Morton says this is the first time such a large number of open-pen fish farms have been removed.