Latest posts in Healthy Oceans

Invasive crabs: Green isn't always good

August 27, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Invasive crabs: Green isn't always good

Scott Wallace, senior research scientist at the David Suzuki Foundation, holds a green crab specimen. (credit: Scott Wallace)

by Scott Wallace, senior research scientist

Green is usually a good thing when talking about the environment, but not when talking about the invasive European green crab, which is becoming more common in B.C.'s intertidal zones. In mid-August, I was kayaking in one of the most remote areas of Vancouver Island when I observed my first green crab up a narrow inlet and above a traditional First Nations fish weir. I've been casually looking since 1999 when I first heard of their presence on the coast. Now, without really looking, I came across two live crabs and a recent moult (they shed their exoskeletons when growing) within a few minutes.

Continue reading »

Shark week: straight from the shark's mouth

August 14, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Shark week: straight from the shark's mouth

(Credit: Ecology Action Centre)

Special guest column by Hector the Blue Shark, spokes-shark for the Ecology Action Centre's Marine Program in Halifax, NS.

Shark Week is here! While I like all the attention I get this week — you can find me on social media ranting at the latest Could-Megalon-Really-Exist?, No-It-Definitely-Couldn't, But-We-Are-Going-To-Mislead-The-Heck-Outta-You-Anyway Shark Week special — I'd like to talk about things that hit a bit closer to home: some of the real problems sharks face in Atlantic Canada.

Continue reading »

Dogfish aren't trash fish

August 13, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Dogfish aren't trash fish

(Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

By Kyle Empringham, Public Engagement Specialist

Poor dogfish! They've been labelled "trash fish" because west coast commercial fisheries typically discard them. But should we be tossing them — or eating them?

Continue reading »

Canada's fisheries: shark friends or foes?

August 11, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Canada's fisheries: shark friends or foes?

This basking shark is shocked. (Credit: NOAA Fisheries Service. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.)

By Scott Wallace, Senior Research Scientist

Sharks are usually associated with tropical waters, so few people know Canada has sharks and shark fisheries. This Shark Week, we're asking: Just how shark-friendly are Canadian fisheries?

Continue reading »

Pacific Underwater: Abalone pile up and spawn

August 7, 2014 | Leave a comment
Photo: Pacific Underwater: Abalone pile up and spawn

(Credit: Anne Salomon)

By Kat Middleton, Western Region Science and Policy Intern

Northern abalone (AKA "ears of the sea") look like creatures from outer space, with many tentacles poking out beneath flat, colourful, ear-shaped shells. They're actually sea snails, and like land snails, they have two protruding eyes and a strong foot muscle for sticking to rocks and moving along the ocean floor. They're strict vegetarians that chow down on algae and kelp using a saw-toothed tongue called a radula.

Continue reading »