It was simply a case of mistaken identity.
However, members of Fisheries and Oceans Canada said they would like to thank the many members of the public who reported a boat in close proximity to a natural marine mammal feeding event within Hardy Bay. A full-grown Steller sea lion was killed and consumed by transient killer whales, a rare sight in such a populated setting.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans cetacean researchers were on scene for the Sept. 6 event and were able to collect important information on the identity of the whales involved from high resolution photographs as well as data on foraging behaviour.
DFO researchers are licenced under a special Species at Risk Act licence to collect whale foraging data and other information needed to promote the recovery of these populations.
Transient killer whales are listed as Threatened under the Species at Risk Act and Steller sea lions are listed as a Species of Concern. The British Columbia Marine Mammal Response Network has a 24-hour marine mammal incident hot line at 1-800-465-4336 to report sick, injured, distressed or dead marine mammals.