EXPEDITION PHOTO An ONC community event in Cambridge.

Ocean expedition explores never-before-seen depths on B.C.’s Central Coast

The expedition visited Bella Bella on their Central Coast route

A massive joint-venture ocean expedition exploring B.C.’s Central Coast has captured photos and videos of areas of the sea floor that have never been seen or studied before.

“We believe in understanding our oceans better and in order to be able to do that there is a lot we still need to explore and study,” said Expedition partner Alexandra Cousteau, who is a filmmaker, Senior Advisor to Oceana Canada, and granddaughter to famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

The expedition is in support of the Government of Canada’s commitment to protecting 10 per cent of Canada’s oceans by 2020.

“If we are able to see what’s down there, which has never been seen below 200 meters, we will have a better sense of how to protect it,” added Cousteau.

The expedition took place between March 7-14 on the Canadian Coast Guard ship CCGS Vector, and explored Kynoch Inlet fjords, Seaforth Channel and Fitz Hugh Sound, which are areas that have high significance for the Heiltsuk and Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Nations.

The expedition used DFO’s submersible drop-camera to explore the deep ocean and collect data to help identify ecologically important areas for marine planning, protect vulnerable species – such as rockfish – and habitat that have a high conservation value from human threats.

“It’s really important that we start working together — First Nations communities have a depth of knowledge that we can’t imagine and the blending of that traditional knowledge and science is going to give us the best outcome,” said Cousteau.

The expedition also visited Bella Bella Community School on March 13 to hear from students about their experiences on the oceans and to share details about the expedition.

“This is stuff that has never been done before, we are seeing places that have never been seen before, and we are able to share the images with the people who have known these places for generations but have never seen below 200 meters,” said Cousteau, noting Indigenous representatives including youth were able to go on board during the expedition.

The data, images, and video (which was live-streamed in real time) collected from the expedition are available for the public to access on the expedition’s website protectoceans.ca.

“It’s really encouraging that we are seeing such vibrant abundance of these species,” said Costeau, adding, “There is still so much to learn about our oceans, and so much to learn about each other, we need to move forward collaboratively sharing our expertise to better protect our oceans and that is how we are going to get there.”

The expedition is a partnership between Oceana Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Heiltsuk and Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Nations, Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance (CCIRA), and Ocean Networks Canada.

“I hope this is the beginning of a long collaboration between traditional knowledge and science,” added Costeau.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

EXPEDITION PHOTO The expedition took place, between March 7 and 14, on the Canadian Coast Guard ship CCGS Vector.

Just Posted

File Photo
Planned power outage in Port Alice Oct. 27

BC Hydro crews to work from midnight to 4 a.m. replacing substation equipment

Sails down, masks up for Ron and Sherry Pryde, who completed a 119 day journey that was supposed to be 70 days. (Zoe Ducklow)
Coast Guard towed rudderless sailors to Port Hardy hours before a powerful storm

Rudderless for a month, the couple zigzagged most the way home with “a few donuts and lazy-eights”

Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce logo
COMMENTARY: Our money should be spent right here at home in the North Island region

‘By purchasing from local businesses, we are casting our vote for the kind of community we want’

Black Press file photo
Small rise in crime in Port Alice with 85 files opened in third quarter

Port Alice RCMP announced third quarter crime stats

The Cowichan Steelheads’ Jesus Martinez (left) and the Cowichan 49ers’ Daryl Rodgers chase down the ball during Saturday night’s all-Cowichan clash at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan masters derby takes unexpected turn with broken leg

Soccer community comes together in midst of battle

Larry Whetstone is concerned about the condition of Jeffries Road, where he has lived for 30 years. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Poor condition of rural road in Cowichan has resident fed up

Transportation Ministry says repair plan under development

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter. Photo supplied
Wanted man from Calgary may be on Vancouver Island

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter

A Pictograph panel found near Tlowitsis traditional territory near Kalogwis is attached in the archaeological report produced by the First Nation’s guardian watchmen.
Tlowitsis First Nation records 370 archaeological sites on traditional territories across B.C.

The Nation’s guardian watchmen mapped sites for research and to protect them from human disturbances

Most Read