Welcome to the SIMRES Science Activities Portal!

Click the tabs below to find out more about the research work being conducted in collaboration with SIMRES here on Saturna Island!

Conference Events & Presentations

On the 3-6th of April 2018 Dr. Lauren McWhinnie presented at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle. Her talk entitled: Capturing Information on Vessels and Cetaceans: a passive monitoring system for Boundary Pass, outlining some of the preliminary findings from the research being undertaken on Saturna Island.

More coming soon!


Here on Saturna we’ve been collecting acoustic data in Boundary Pass using our two hydrophones (underwater listening devises) located at East Point and Monarch Head, as shown on the map. This data is contributing to a variety of scientific projects but can also be listened to live by SIMRES members via this password protected link. Also be sure to check out our ‘Active Research’ tab to listen to some of the amazing recordings we’ve picked up over the past few years.

Camera & AIS

In collaboration with the University of Victoria and Ocean Networks Canada we are also helping to facilitate the deployment of a land-based camera system and AIS (Automatic Identification System) receiver in order to observe both vessel traffic and marine life in Boundary Pass. Both of these instruments are located at East Point and for further information about this project please visit the ‘Active Research’ tab.

More coming soon!

NEMES Project

Funded by MEOPAR a Canadian centre for excellence, this work is trying to capture information on small vessel traffic within the Salish Sea. Researchers are using land-based cameras to collect information on the amount and type of vessels using Boundary Pass.

Preliminary Results Coming Soon!!

Oceans Awareness Project

This project, jointly funded by NSERC and IBM, has several objectives but ones of them is utilizing our hydrophone data to build up a picture of marine mammal presence in Boundary Pass. Some preliminary analysis has shown killer whale vocalizations to be present in most months of the year (see the graph in the Data, Tools and Maps Tab). Current data is still being analyzed for both killer whale detections and humpback vocalizations. Please listen below to a variety of audio clips captured over the last few years in Boundary Pass.

Transient Killer Whales (meat eaters – seals and other cetaceans)

Southern Resident Orca (SRKW – fish eaters, mainly chinook)

Humpback Whales (returning to our waters after near extinction from whaling industry)

Southern Resident Killer Whales – Orca
SRKW are at risk of extinction!

Supporting the recovery of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) that call our island waters home is a primary goal of SIMRES. At SIMRES we’re passionate about all things marine but like so many others the SRKWs hold a special fascination and place in our hearts. Please read our official advocacy statement below regarding our Southern Resident Orca*.

As part of the work we do and support, we aim to spread the word about the plight of the SRKW and inform people about the threats facing these amazing animals. In addition, we want to provide suggestions about what we can all do to help reduce our impacts on both their habitat and the animals themselves. Teaming up with we have produced a vast array of outreach material that is freely downloadable from the links below and widely distributed at our outreach events. (links coming soon)

Please check our webpage regularly for upcoming outreach events and research talks at venues near you!!

SIMRES Advocacy Statement Regarding SRKW:

“SIMRES fully supports the recovery of the Southern Resident Killer Whale population. While we as an organization recognize that these animals currently face many threats from issues such as lack of prey availability (primarily chinook salmon), acoustic disturbances and exposure to chemical contaminants among others, we also acknowledge that many of these threats are inextricably linked with one another. SIMRES believes that in order to recover this population we need to work together to deal with all the challenges these whales are currently facing. Our work on island focuses on collecting and analyzing data that can be used to monitor the level of acoustic and vessel disturbance the SRKW are being exposed to while they are using Boundary Pass, a core area of their Critical Habitat. It has been scientifically proven that increases in ambient noise and vessel activity can both have a significant impact on the amount of time these animals spend carrying out vital behaviours such as foraging. Therefore, we hope that the research SIMRES facilitates and supports through our hydrophones and other infrastructure will help provide the evidence required to make informed management decisions and ultimately aid the long term recovery of this iconic population of whales.”

Videos & Presentations

Our Endangered Orca

Southern Resident Killer Whales - Blackfish of the Salish Sea

Intertidal Safari Live Dive

Seal Pup Birthing at East Point

More to Come