News / Vancouver

Nature webcam captures orcas and stunning sunsets off B.C.

The annual salmon run draws hungry orcas to Canada's west coast every year.

If you keep your eyes peeled on Explore's B.C. coast webcam, you might just get lucky.

Explore.org

If you keep your eyes peeled on Explore's B.C. coast webcam, you might just get lucky.

Perhaps most famous for their webcam starring fish-snatching bears, Explore’s latest operation gets up close and personal with an earlier stop on the annual salmon run obstacle course.

A series of cameras set up off the coast of British Columbia is capturing some remarkable images of orcas drawn to the area by the late summer morsels served by the salmon migration.

However, in a frustrating twist for viewers, the Pacific Ocean is huge so a significant slice of luck is needed to spot the enormous predators swimming by. But those with the patience (or a second screen at work) can be treated to some pretty spectacular sights.

Mashable/Explore.org

Happily, the spectacular sunrises and sunsets that West Coasters know well are safely predictable, and Explore’s new Snapshot feature allows any user to capture them with the added bonus of the sound of the ocean greeting the shore playing in your browser.

Explore.org

Explore.org

Explore.org

Of course, there are some other creatures who make the B.C. coast their home that are more than happy to make an appearance.

Explore.org

Explore.org

explore.org

Explore.org was started in part as a conservation measure, and this year’s news from the West Coast salmon run means that message may be more important than ever.

According to researchers, this year’s migration hit the lowest level in recorded history as a “warm blob” of water in the Pacific disrupts the chain by reducing the amount of food available to salmon while also introducing new predators to hunt them.

The numbers have been so scant that communities that have depended on salmon as a food supply for generations had this year’s catch arrive by plane instead of by river.

"There’s been very tough ocean conditions for salmon over the past few years,” said Aaron Hill of the Watershed Watch Salmon Society in B.C.

Hill also added that overfishing and diseases spread by fish farms is contributing to the decline.