Cetus Beer is Here!

In early November, Cetus Research & Conservation Society was chosen as one of the ten finalists in the annual Phillip’s Benefit Brew competition. We were in very good company, sharing the top ten with organizations such as The Ucluelet Aquarium, The Lifecycles Project Society, Nature Trust of BC, The Canadian National Institute for the Blind and others. On November 18 we were declared the winners having received over 4300 votes!

Thanks to our many dedicated supporters who voted every day and helped us to spread the campaign far and wide! We are thrilled and humbled to be the ones to have a special beer made just for us.

On January 21st Phillip’s Brewery officially released ‘Leviathan Milk Stout’ with full proceeds going to our marine mammal conservation programs.

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Established in 2005, Cetus is a marine conservation society which operates in and around the waters off Vancouver Island, BC. These waters are home to a wide variety of majestic marine mammal species including humpback whales, grey whales, killer whales, pacific white-sided dolphins, dall’s porpoises, Steller sea lions and many more. People come from around the world to see these beautiful marine mammals that call British Columbia home but unfortunately they are still at risk from human impacts. For instance there are fewer than 90 individual killer whales left in the Southern resident population (frequently seen around Victoria and Northern Washington).

“Our mission is to reduce disturbances to these threatened and endangered populations and also to promote respect for our marine environment though education, outreach and direct monitoring activities. We do this through a variety of programs, such as the following.”

Straitwatch is an on-the-water monitoring and education program which helps to minimize disturbances to killer whales and other marine mammals. Research has demonstrated that killer whales show avoidance behaviour in the presence of vessels, and that whale responses to vessel presence and/or sound may include ceasing of feeding, resting and social interaction. Because of these impacts, federal guidelines known as the ‘Be Whale Wise’ marine mammal viewing guidelines have been developed to minimize disturbances while still allowing boaters to view these majestic animals in their natural environment.  The Straitwatch program helps to ensure that these guidelines are understood and adhered to.

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The Robson Bight Marine Warden Program operates in Johnstone Strait, near an area which has been designated as an ecological reserve for the protection of critical habitat of the Northern resident killer whales. This is a unique area where the whales often come to rub their bodies along the underwater beaches. In this area our marine wardens monitor vessels and marine mammal populations, and educate boaters and kayakers about the reserve and their impacts around it.

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We also conduct community outreach, school and youth programs and have recently begun work on a derelict fishing gear removal program to address the very serious issue of ‘ghost gear’ on our coast.

All proceeds from the ‘Leviathan Milk Stout’ will help fund these programs that protect species at risk in our area and inspire others in our community and around the world to do the same.

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