Grey Whale Exhibit One Step Closer as Remains Exhumed From Beecher Bay

June 12, 2014 - 8:30am

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assemble 145 bones of a 10-metre long, 20-plus tonne gray whale into a world class exhibit at Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Deep Bay Marine Field Station is now one step closer with the recovery of the bones this past weekend.

Photos and video documenting the whale exhumation process at Beecher Bay on June 7 was created by Station Manager Brian Kingzett and is available at Whale dig and VIU Deep Bay photos

“The dig went incredibly well thanks to an amazing team of volunteers,” says Kingzett. “There really is a community coming together around this project and I am so proud to be facilitating it. VIU and the Field Station are all about partnerships with communities on Vancouver Island, and this project is becoming a great representation in so many ways. Last weekend, the exhumation process was a lot of work and everyone was so happy and worked so hard.”

The bones have been inventoried and are now drying in a shipping container at the Field Station. “We’ll soon start the next phase of the project and hope to complete our educational marine exhibit within six to eight months,” adds Kingzett. “We’d like to thank all of our donors that have joined us so far in this project through our ‘buy a bone’ campaign in helping us raise more than $55,900 of our $75,000 goal.

“We also want to recognize the Underwater Harvesters Association as the lead donor of the exhibit and Jamie’s Whaling Station for their support of all 23 of the caudal vertebrae.”

Kingzett says there is still time for the public to get involved in this exciting project as 25 bones are available for as little as $200. All purchasers will receive a certificate of "bone ownership" signed by Dr. Ralph Nilson, VIU President and Vice-Chancellor, name recognition at the Deep Bay exhibit and an invitation to the exhibit preview party.

The completed skeleton will weigh approximately 2,000 pounds and will hang from the ceiling as a highlight of the Deep Bay Marine Field Station’s public education program.

To purchase a bone and inspire generations, Deep Bay at 250.740.6611 or Deep Bay Marine Field Station.


About the Deep Bay Marine Field Station:

With touch tanks and a large public aquaria teeming with sea life from BC waters, the Deep Bay Marine Field Station is fast becoming a popular tourist destination for the entire Island. The Field Station is open to the public daily between 10 am and 4 pm, with staff available to answer questions. With stunning views of Baynes Sound, the Field Station is also a popular venue for conferences, workshops, weddings, birthday parties, school tours and other special events.


Janina Stajic, Manager, Communications and Public Engagement, Vancouver Island University P: 250.740.6288 E:

Twitter: @VIUNews

Tags: In the Community

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