Janie Wray and Hermann Meuter were inspired to build Cetacealab in 2001. They formed the North Coast Cetacean Society, a charitable organization dedicated to the research and protection of whales in BC coastal waters.
What they have to say
During the early 1990s we both worked at Orcalab, a land-based whale research station located near Vancouver Island. With time we realized that most of the research being done on cetacean populations was concentrated in the southern waters of British Columbia. We decided to take the knowledge we had gained and travel north. Our first destination was Hartley Bay. Here we were to meet with the Hereditary Chief, Johnny Clifton, and ask for permission to build a whale research station within Gitga'at territory. To our amazement and respect, within just weeks of meeting, this permission was granted.
With our own funds we headed to an island recommended to us to build a research facility. This area is extremely remote so we considered ourselves extremely fortunate to find what was to be the perfect location on the south end of Gil Island. This first season was spent with a tent, one hydrophone station and a lot of rain. We sat, listened, and watched. Without a doubt this location was perfect in every sense; a fabulous spot for viewing, now known as Whale Point, to observe whales and protection from harsh winter storms.
Our determination was recognized and funding was received to build Cetacealab and establish a hydrophone network. This perfect combination allows us to listen to all whale vocalizations within the research area right here at Whale Point!