Tag Archives: Salmon

Who gets to fish for B.C. salmon in the future?

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The West Coast’s commercial salmon fleet is clearly in the midst of transformative change.  

Ottawa has shuttered approximately 60 per cent of B.C.’s commercial fisheries since 2021 and last month launched a licence buyback program to lure fish harvesters to exit the industry to protect plummeting salmon stocks. 

Continue reading Who gets to fish for B.C. salmon in the future?

Spill to Sustenance

Six years on from the fuel spill that devastated Heiltsuk waters and clam gardens, the nation is pulling together to proactively build food sovereignty

Originally published on the Watershed Sentinel

by Jamie-Leigh Gonzales

The central coast rainforest, with its horizons of emerald islands roamed by wolves, orcas, and bears, is a source of life and wellbeing for all peoples who live there. The Heiltsuk Nation have lived off their land since time immemorial, and their culture is deeply rooted in the land and marine ecosystems. They continue to protect their relationship with the land against extractive industry and ongoing colonial practices that seek to eradicate Indigenous land stewardship.

In 2016, the Nathan E. Stewart tug ran aground, spilling over 110,000 litres of diesel oil in Heiltsuk waters of Gale Creek Pass. The devastating impacts on marine life and the surrounding ecosystem continue today, nearly six years after the spill. A healthy clam beach has yet to return, and the site remains a danger to the marine life, such as herring, salmon, and kelp, that once thrived there.

Continue reading Spill to Sustenance

Revisiting Phillips Arm fish farm

[Editor’s note: This is a remake of a 2016 story, with additional material added in Feb 2021 and on Sept 16, 2022. The closest fish farm site to Cortes Island is about 5 miles to the north, off Raza Island. ]

Some people will call this program one sided, which is what happens when you interview the people on one side of an argument. Others will say I was duped, but I would hold Marine Harvest (or MOWI Canada West as it is now called) blameless if they had been more forthright about what they were doing. They were not and, as I do not cover fish farms that often, three years passed before I realized what actually happened. 

Continue reading Revisiting Phillips Arm fish farm

Dead salmon found at Trans Mountain construction site spark outcry from environmental group

By Natasha Bulowski, Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Environmentalists are calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to halt pipeline construction in Hope, B.C., after dead salmon were found at Trans Mountain’s worksite on the Coquihalla River last weekend.

Continue reading Dead salmon found at Trans Mountain construction site spark outcry from environmental group

West Coast kelp is in hot water, but scientific insights may help save our underwater rainforests

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

B.C.’s critical kelp forests withered as climate change has triggered marine heat waves along the entire West Coast in recent years. 

But exceptions to the rule may provide insights helpful to saving and restoring our underwater forests, said Samuel Starko, a University of Victoria researcher.

Continue reading West Coast kelp is in hot water, but scientific insights may help save our underwater rainforests