Tag Archives: Citizen Scientists

DFO: a potentially transformative decade

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Canada is in the enviable position of having the longest coastline in the world. But our trio of oceans is being battered by a storm of negative impacts, be it overexploited fish stocksplastics pollution, degrading marine food webs, increasingly fragile coastal ecosystems or biodiversity loss accelerated by ocean warming and acidification. Yet, at the very crest of their vulnerability, Canada’s oceans may stand to benefit from a potentially transformative decade.

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Environmental issues in small Vancouver Island communities

In this edition of the Folk U Radio’s Reporters Roundtable, our journalists talk about environmental issues in some small Vancouver Island communities. 

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The Discovery Islands Sea Star Monitoring Program

Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI) has become the Hakai Institute‘s first partner in a new citizen science sea star monitoring program.

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The Helicopter View: Fish Farms Around the World

[OPINION/EDITORIAL/RESEARCH, the audio of which will be broadcast over Cortes Radio as the first part of a special of Fish Farms – Sat, Feb 13, and repeated on Wed, Feb 17, 2021, Click here to access the other part of this special]

The “fish farm” issue simmering for decades on the BC Coast has boiled over again, in the controversy over DFO’s recent decision to close down open-net Atlantic salmon “farms” in the Discovery Islands and Broughton Archipelago areas. Locally, the issue is mostly being discussed in terms of First Nations sovereignty vs employment, though debate continues over the scale and impact of externalities like sea lice infestations, chemical and biohazard effluent, etc.

I’d like to back up a bit and try to put this local conflict into a larger perspective. “Fish farming” is a global issue, with a long history. Canada is only one minor player in the international Great Game of Atlantic salmon feedlots. This is such a big subject that it can’t be fully covered in a readable article; I’ve compiled a brief bibliography (of links) by topic, at the end. There are also many links and footnotes throughout the text, so readers can dig deeper.

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Mapping forage fish on Cortes Island

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Should you find yourself walking any West Coast beaches this winter, take a moment to send loving vibes to the tiny — but mighty important — little fishes that may be underfoot, a Cortes Island marine biologist recommends.

It’s peak spawning season for the Pacific sand lance, one of the crucial forage fish species being mapped as part of an extensive citizen science project along the east coast of Vancouver Island, says Sabina Leader Mense, the marine stewardship co-ordinator for the Friends of Cortes Island Society (FOCI).

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