WHALE is the common name for a number of species of marine mammals of the order Cetacea. There are 2 suborders: Mysticeti, the toothless or baleen whales (filter feeders), and Odontoceti, the toothed whales, which include DOLPHINS and PORPOISES. Many species of whales once visited the BC coast, but a commercial hunt that began in the Pacific in the mid-19th century drastically depleted their numbers (see WHALING). Today 4 species are present in significant numbers: the gray, humpback and minke...

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