Enhancing Salmon to Feed the Orcas
On May 19th, the Coalition of Anglers and Whale Watchers Hosted an Open House and Family-Friendly BBQ on Saturday in Sooke, BC. The event gained vast media coverage across the island for its unique and important value to the surrounding community. As many know, the Southern Resident Orca populations are bordering extinction; however, with recent approval from the Government of Canada, this initiative will help to rebuild wild Chinook salmon runs and feed our whales. On Saturday, the public was able to take a look at the fish from 1-3 p.m. at the Sooke Harbour Resort and Marina, where another 220,000 Chinook smolt were released this past week.
SpringTide stresses the importance of initiatives like this. According to Dan, owner of SpringTide Whale Watching, “this project isn’t just about putting fish in the water here in Sooke and helping our Southern Resident Orcas, it’s about inspiring everyone of all ages to get involved in the recovery of the population wherever and however they can.”
This week, Dan, alongside a small group of experienced owners met with Professor Andrew Trites, PhD and Research Associate Mei Sato, who both have a PhD from the University of British Columbia.
They were meeting to provide input into their multi-year scientific study, which will concentrate on the abundance of Chinook prey for the Southern Resident Killer Whale, their feeding habits and quality composition of the prey species. The study will use state of the art hydro acoustic sonar technology to determine the location and abundance of various prey species, especially the Chinook salmon.
Their study is funded by the Canadian Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and is part of the work being done to help the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale population recover to more historic levels.
This initiative by SpringTide management, staff and crew is only part of the continuing conservation work, which includes spearheading the release of 500,000 juvenile Chinook this spring. The sustainability of not only the Southern Resident Killer Whales, but all mammals and the entire marine ecosystem in this region is in the forefront of SpringTide‘s mandate.
For additional information on the Chinook salmon enhancement project, take a look at the links below.