REPORTING · 2nd June 2010
The second presenter at the Solidarity Gathering of Nations at Kitamaat Village on Saturday May 29th was Herman from Ceta-sea-lab on Gill Island. It was his birthday and after those gathered wished him such, he began his presentation. His partner Janie was taking care of the lab, as the whales were already active.
He explained a part of their research is an underwater network of Microphones so they could study the whales without disturbing them.
“Although there are a few different whale species that have the Gitgan Territory as their home, I was hoping, this morning, to introduce you to two of our whale species, the Killer Whale and the Humpback Whale,” said Herman.
He talked about the Resident Orca whale pod, a family pod of whales focused around the mother whale. Herman played the whale songs they use to communicate. Herman added there were 26 different families of whale on the coast, each with their own distinct dialect. Their different dialects make them easier to track.
He explained there is also Transient Orcas in the area which feed on marine mammal life rather then fish and have smaller pods.
Herman then spoke about Humpback Whales. He explained they have unique tail plumes and they were now coming back to the coast to eat. He explained how they eat and that they migrate south. He played the song of the humpback whales.
The waters around Gil Island and River Island were recently declared to be critical habitat for humpback whales.
The final part of the presentation is how Enbridge will affect the whales. Herman explained the whale song is critical to whale’s survival.
“If we allow Enbridge to come in here and send super tankers through the narrow passages, I think that we will lose the Humpback Whales and the Killer whales from this coast and does not need an oil spill to do so. If the waters around here are filled with super tanker noise, instead of Humpback Whale calls and Killer Whale calls, we will lose them,” said Herman.
He promised they will do everything he can to keep Enbridge from going ahead with the project.