Quillback rockfish can live to nearly 100 years old
Quillback rockfish can live to nearly 100 years old
Yelloweye rockfish are currently a SARA listed species
Yelloweye rockfish are currently a SARA listed species
China rockfish are currently a rare sight in our area
China rockfish are currently a rare sight in our area
Rockfish live in complex habitat among many other creatures
Rockfish live in complex habitat among many other creatures
 

Marine: Projects

Back to Species at Risk

Coastal Ecosystems at Risk

The Salish Sea is particularly rich in biodiversity, due to a combination of shelter from extreme storms and strong natural upwelling. The coastal ecosystems of this region support a large number of species, many of which are now at risk due to encroaching urban development, high marine traffic, and exploitation. Galiano Island sits in the heart of this region, between Vancouver Island and the Vancouver mainland. We are surrounded by three Rockfish Conservation Areas, two Important Bird Areas (IBAs), and are a hub for boater and tourist activity. Learn more about the Active Pass IBA.

Satellite image showing the relative location of Galiano Island to Vancouver and Victoria
Satellite image showing the location of Galiano Island (red)

Fostering Marine Stewardship for Positive Change

At the Galiano Conservancy, we are providing research and raising awareness for the many species that use this marine environment through public outreach and our environmental education programs. We are working as part of the Southern Strait of Georgia Marine Conservation Network for the establishment of a National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA), which will provide protection of critical habitat for species at risk and conscientious management of these coastal ecosystems from seafloor to seashore. At the Galiano Conservancy we have recently focused on rockfish research, and are raising awareness about the Rockfish Conservation Areas in our region to promote their recovery from overfishing.

Rockfish Recovery Project

Rockfish Project Information Poster 2012Many of us know rockfish as “Red Snapper” or “Rock cod’, as we may see them in the fish market. In truth, we have at least 38 species of rockfish in BC waters, and about one third of those once dwelled in the Salish Sea. Since the late 1990s, several species of rockfish have shown considerable declines due largely to overfishing. In 2007, the Canadian government implemented 164 Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs) in an attempt to recover rockfish populations; however, work done by the Galiano Conservancy Association and others is showing that rockfish abundance around Galiano and throughout the Salish Sea remains low. We still have reason to believe that rockfish from each species remain in our waters, and that given the opportunity, their populations can recover                Click to see enlarged poster
from overfishing.                                      

The Galiano Conservancy Association recently completed the Freedom to Swim: Research Portion for the Rockfish Recovery Project, sponsored primarily by Mountain Equipment Co-op, during which we discovered that there are rockfish both inside and outside RCAs around Galiano, but not as many as there should be, and only representing a few of the species that we hoped to see in the area. We are now continuing monitoring and need YOU.

Rockfish Conservation Areas Galiano ConservancyRockfish Conservation Areas Galiano Conservancy
Click to see full-size brochure pages on Rockfish Conservation Areas around Galiano Island

What can you do to help?

                  

A juvenile Yelloweye Rockfish (the species most commonly sold as Red Snapper) investigates crevices for a future home. This one is taken by a Wolf Eel! Photo donated by Scott Stevenson, Pacific Marine Imaging