The determined efforts of First Nations and other coastal communities, scientists, organizations, and individuals continues to shape the future of the world’s largest remaining intact temperate rainforest. These voices are the reason that we celebrate historic victories and major conservation milestones for Canada’s Pacific coast.
community herring spawn on kelp (sok) fishery
In 2015, the herring spawning season was marked by conflict, confrontation, and anguish. First Nations communities on B.C.’s central coast faced the industrial sac roe fleet and challenged Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), which secretly allowed an seine opening in an area the Heiltsuk Nation had declared closed. The Heiltsuk and Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nations unwavering efforts over many years resulted in one of the first fisheries co-management agreements ever reached in B.C. DFO reduced the quota to a level that forced the fleets to stay home, giving hope for recovery of a fish that is considered foundational for the entire coastal ecosystem and coastal First Nations cultures. Seven North and Central Coast First Nations recently signed a Reconciliation Framework Agreement with the federal government that will open the door for more joint fisheries management agreements based on the precautionary principle, similar to the agreement that the Heiltsuk Nation have been putting into practice with DFO in recent years. The Heiltsuk’s focus is now on managing the traditional fishery and pushing to improve and extend the collaborative monitoring and management process to other fisheries. Pacific Wild supported the Heiltsuk during and after the protest, with a dedicated team of visual storytellers who delivered the story from the Heiltsuk perspective as it unfolded in real-time, reaching media saturation across Canada and helping to turn the tide against unsustainable management.
Enbridge Northern Gateway Project
In November of 2016, Pacific Wild celebrated along with tens of thousands of dedicated citizens when a the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers project was defeated, after a decade of hard work to stop it. The moratorium for crude oil tankers covering the Great Bear Rainforest/North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii area ensures that proposals like Enbridge, which aimed to ship crude oil and bitumen from this coast to Asia, are unlikely to be rear their heads again. First Nations up and down our coastline and across our province fought for their traditional territories with everything they had to make this decision part of Canada’s history.
GRIZZLY BEAR TROPHY HUNT
After two decades of dedicated campaigning, it is with immense relief and hope for the future that we can now say that the grizzly bears of B.C. are safe from being legally killed for sport or trophy. We are so grateful to the countless people from Canada and around the world that were part of the campaign to protect B.C. grizzly bears. In particular, we owe a debt of gratitude to the leadership of Coastal First Nations who made this issue a priority in their many negotiations with the provincial government. And to the many non-government organizations, individuals, scientists, businesses, and especially the charter boat fleet and the bear viewing lodges across the province that helped to instill in people the love of one of our most iconic and magnificent land mammals. This is an incredible conservation achievement for our coast; grizzly bears have been given a helping hand as they continue to navigate our unpredictable and ever evolving relationship with the natural world.