Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island, British Columbia – ORCA FM (88.5), was the world’s first All-Whales-All-The-Time radio station. It began to broadcast from a killer whale sanctuary along Vancouver Island in 1998. Robson Bight, in Johnstone Strait on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, is an ecological reserve where up to 200 killer whales gather each summer. They are attracted to the region by salmon, and because they like to rub themselves on the pebble beaches. Their whale calls were picked up for ORCA FM by an offshore underwater microphone located in 30 metres of water. The radio signal was broadcast over a 15-km radius of the Johnstone Strait area, and was transmitted at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Vancouver Islands’s picturesque Telegraph Cove continues to be the launching point for many
orca-watching trips. It’s 30 minutes south of Port McNeill, and about 55 km from Port Hardy.
ORCA FM is no longer broadcasting but during the summer months you can hear and possibly view, orcas over the internet from uninhabited Hanson Island via webcasts on Orca-Live.net (go to ‘community’.) Five cameras are positioned at various depths and aimed towards the junction of Johnstone Strait and Blackney Pass. Sound is picked up by Orca Lab’s six underwater mics around the Hanson Island area. During the summer, assistants from around the world monitor the sound 24 hrs a day.
Telegraph Cove, British Columbia, Canada