There are over 80 species of whales and dolphins, inhabiting every ocean (and some rivers) of the world. They all have one thing in common: each species has specific areas that are especially important to their wellbeing – including feeding grounds, breeding areas and migratory corridors.

Important Cetacean Area Project

The Important Cetacean Area (ICA) program aims to identify and map these areas.

The example ICAs presented here are the result of a review of a wide array of studies and mapping projects in BC and Southeast Alaska, as well as discussion with the Rob Butler, Graeme Ellis, John Ford, Linda Nichol, Jan Straley and Rob Williams.


Suggested citation

Darling, J.D. and R.W. Butler. 2013. Important Cetacean Areas. Pacific WildLife Foundation, Technical Report Number 3. Port Moody, BC.



Pacific WildLife Foundation 2013

Assembled: Jim Darling
Maps and Design: Josie Byington
Logo: Tom Middleton

Funding provided by Pacific WildLife Foundation and The Kayak Foundation at The Calgary Foundation.

Photo Credits

Home: Jim Darling
Birds: Tom Middleton
What Are ICAs: Jim Darling
Criteria: James Pilkington
ICA1: Rob Butler, Jim Maya
ICA2: Jim Darling
ICA4: James Pilkington
ICA6: Flip Nicklin, Jan Straley