Photo Credits: Ford, et. al. 2023

Dr. John Ford's Southern Resident Killer Whale Call Catalogue

Visit the Southern Resident Killer Whale Call Catalogue!

Researchers are currently aiming to “teach” artificial intelligence systems to recognize the sounds of resident killer whales in order to develop a warning system for preventing ships from fatally striking endangered orcas off British Columbia’s coast.

Data used to train artificial intelligence systems come from various sources: from hydrophone nodes located near shipping lanes, to the contributions of citizen scientists and projects like Orcasound and

This catalogue website shares a curated collection of orca acoustics and annotations which represent the type of samples used in machine learning datasets. The samples here demonstrate the complexity of communication within and between pods.

These samples have been gathered through decades of research by Dr. John Ford, scientist emeritus, and former head of cetacean research at Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Pacific Biological Station in collaboration with Dr. Volker Deecke, professor at the University of Cumbria, UK and James Pilkington from the Department of Ocean and Fisheries (DFO), Canada.