Any boater would be thrilled to encounter a humpback whale and it's happening more often on the West Coast, suggesting numbers of the giant mammal might be on the rise off the B.C. coast.
That could be the reason the federal government took them off Canada's list of threatened species last week. But the move has some suspecting other motives.
Environment Canada announced Saturday that the humpback whale's status under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) had been changed from "threatened" to "species of special concern," the Canadian Press reports.
The Canada Gazette on Saturday published the Conservative government's order-in-council amending the act's application to the humpback.
The change was made in the wake of a 2011 report from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, an independent scientific advisory body that found humpback numbers in the Northwest Pacific region have been increasing since the 1990s, now estimated at more than 18,000 adult whales, CP said.Read More »from Ottawa reduces threat level for humpback whales off B.C. coast