Prince of Whales’ catamaran Salish Sea Dream caters to whale-watching tourists in Victoria. Photo courtesy Tourism Victoria

Passenger levy generates funds for salmon enhancement, southern resident orca support

A passenger levy by one of British Columbia’s oldest marine tourism companies is going towards supporting wild salmon habitat restoration as part of a multi-year, $1 million commitment to orca conservation.

Prince of Whales Whale and Marine Wildlife Adventures is contributing $25,000 to the Pacific Salmon Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to conserving and restoring wild Pacific salmon populations. The donation is the first to come from an enhanced passenger levy, called a Conservation Fee, which is being dedicated to salmon enhancement projects and orca-based science programs.

“Chinook salmon are the primary source of food for the endangered southern resident orcas,” Alan McGillivray, owner of Prince of Whales, said in a press release. “By restoring wild salmon populations, we are supporting the natural ecosystem and assisting the orca population.”

From its locations in Victoria, Vancouver and Telegraph Cove on northern Vancouver Island, Prince of Whales’ charges each passenger a $5 conservation fee which is expected to generate $1 million over the next five years, all of which will be used to enhance salmon habitat, orca research and marine conservation.

The $25,000 donation to the Pacific Salmon Foundation will be directed to the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, a research and restoration program focused on the Strait of Georgia. The project, which includes 60 partner organizations in Canada and the United States, is studying all facets of the ecosystem which could impact salmon health including habitat loss, climate change, fishing and predation.

Recommendations for governments and communities are expected in 2020.

“Pacific salmon are a keystone species central to the health of B.C. ecosystems. They support more than 130 different species including southern resident orcas,” said Michael Meneer, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. “The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project is an ongoing effort to address all factors that could be limiting salmon, because salmon recovery means restoring our ecosystems as a whole. This investment will make a meaningful difference as we conduct targeted research and restoration projects and share our findings with governments, First Nations and communities.”

In the coming months, Prince of Whales expects to grant funding to other merit-based initiatives aimed at marine conservation and orca-based scientific research. Recently, Prince of Whales raised $10,000 on World Oceans Day which will be divided equally between the Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Association and the South Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition Salmon Enhancement Program.

RELATED: Telegraph Cove Resort owners Marilyn and Gordie Graham issue statement on whale watching company switch

RELATED: B.C. whale-watching group uses surcharge to boost salmon, science for killer whales

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

33rd annual Rotary Auction raises $50,000 gross profit

The Rotary Auction is an annual joint project between the Port Hardy and Port McNeill clubs.

Port Hardy Secondary School girls volleyball team competes in Parksville

The girls volleyball team has a new coach this year, Kenzie McDonald.

Port Alice resident is taken on by a major publisher

As a youth, Wilkie was gigging in a 3-piece punk rock band called Sponge Cookie.

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

First annual North Island Christmas Festival

“If it’s a big success we can do it every year”

VIDEO: Canadian allergists’ group wants Benadryl behind the counter due to side effects

Some doctors say the medication is over-used because of its easy availability

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Vancouver Island soap company releases Lucky Lager beer soap

Beer-infused olive oil soap comes out just in time for holiday shopping

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Former B.C. youth pastor guilty on one of five sexual assault allegations

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Cloverdale couple not guilty of majority of charges

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Killer who fled to Taiwan day after shooting B.C. man over $80 sentenced 13 years later

The sentence comes 13 years after Shaoxin Zhang, 19, was killed in a Burnaby parking lot

Most Read