Young students gather to touch a salmon before it is dissected by Erin Wright of the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre Friday at Rotary Park in Port Hardy.

An ocean of fun

Port Hardy schoolchildren join in for the annual Ocean's Day celebration.

PORT HARDY—Jerry the Moose upstaged Raúl the Killer Whale, but otherwise Friday’s annual Oceans Day celebration at Rotary Park was devoted to all things aquatic.

Schoolchildren from across the District of Port Hardy were bused or walked to the park to get a close-up look and, in some cases, a hands-on education in marine wildlife, risks and preservation from a wise range of participants.

Pacificus Biological Services hosted a living tidal pool in a small wading pool; the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre explained the salmon life cycle while dissecting a fish, and members of Fisheries and Oceans Canada gave youngsters a tour of their rigid inflatable boat.

Other presenters included the Marine Education and Research Society (MERS), Vancouver Island University’s ACER (Awareness of Climate Change through Education and Research), the Canadian Coast Guard, Sun Fun Divers, CETUS, Living Oceans Society, the Candian Wildlife Service and the B.C. Parks Service.

The Port Hardy and District Chamber of Commerce hosted a hot dog cookout as well.