When Vancouver Island resident Laurie Gourlay spoke about the Salish Sea he became animated. The passion for this beautiful body of water and it’s greater watershed flowed out of Laurie like freshwater to the sea. He was a tireless advocate for the waterways of coastal B.C. and through his organization—the Salish Sea Trust—he worked hard to protect them. He spearheaded a campaign to have the Salish Sea designated as a @unesco World Heritage Site, and @Sea_Legacy was proud to throw our support behind him.
Let’s further Laurie’s incredible legacy. Let’s do it together. Rest In Peace, Laurie Gourlay. Photo: @cristinamittermeier
Photo by @simonagerphotography // A single fish farm often holds up to one million Atlantic salmon in close confinement. In these conditions, disease can sweep through a farm with devastating effect, killing thousands of fish. To try and combat outbreaks, the fish are given feed pellets loaded with antibiotic’s. Those who don’t survive are vacuumed from the depths of the pens. The diseased corpses are moved to mortuary totes to decompose, then shipped off and mixed with tree bark from the logging industry. This is turned into compost for sale at your local garden centre. Would you want to consume vegetables grown in toxic soil? Maybe you already have. #turningthetide@bcndp@justinpjtrudeau@johnhorgan4bc
Photo by @simonagerphotography // Salmon farming has become a human rights issue in British Columbia, Canada. Indigenous people have asked the industry to leave their territories for the past 30 years. Some of them are now occupying the farms because they no longer have enough wild salmon in their rivers to provide food for the winter. Norwegian fish farming companies Marine Harvest and Cermaq have ignored them, and continue to ignore them.
The current occupation of Midsummer Island fish farm by members of the Musgamagw Dzawda’enuxw lasted almost 80 days, and was ordered to an end by the Supreme Court in Vancouver yesterday. Marine Harvest will be allowed to restock the farm with more diseased salmon smolts and continue decimating the marine eco-system of this coast. The occupation of Swanson Island by the Namgis Nation remains at this time. #turningthetide#getsalmonfarmsout@justinpjtrudeau@johnhorgan4bc@bcndp
Photo by @simonagerphotography // Bathing in an open-water soup of antibiotic drugs and diseased fish faeces, wild fish suffer the spill off from Atlantic salmon farms in B.C. waters. Antibiotic use is escalating in salmon farms, which means the drugs are entering the marine environment, infiltrating the food chain in wild herring and other species. They are attracted to the tons of oily feed in the open-net pens. #getsalmonfarmsout#turningthetide#justintrudeau#bcndp#johnhorgan4bc
Photo by @simonagerphotography // Sea lice occur naturally but, in the natural world, salmon cannot become attacked until they are mature enough to withstand infection through a protective coat of scales. Salmon farms force millions of salmon to swim in circles, giving the lice the opportunity to reproduce rapidly. Eventually the lice overwhelm young salmon, and eat them to death.
Photo by John and Jane Doe // Deformities, viruses and toxic algae blooms—these are some of the results of fish farming in open-net ocean pens. This salmon—which is legally labelled “organic”—ends up on the plates of people who want cheap salmon: customers at high-volume retailers like Costco and Walmart, all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants, etc. 40% of it ends up in Los Angeles, #California.
There is irrefutable evidence that open-net fish farming destroys wild fish stocks and pollutes coastal marine environments, affecting the entire food chain. It’s time to get open-net fish farms out of British Columbia waters. They are operating without permissionin the territories of the indigenous Musgmagw Dzawada’enuwx and Namgis First Nations peoples. Please click the link in my bio to add your voice. ⠀
This is an image taken in an Atlantic salmon open-net fish farm.
Canada’s Provincial and Federal Governments have a duty to protect the coastal ecosystems that sustain other industries like sports fishing, commercial salmon fishing, wilderness tourism and the livelihoods of First Nations communities. Open-net fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago are operating on indigenous First Nations territory against their wishes. Canada has an opportunity, and obligation, to become a global leader in aquaculture. Getting fish farms out of the water is a crucial first step.⠀
To learn more, sign the petition and send a tweet to government representatives, click the link in our bio. *
* #turningthetide | @getfishfarmsout | @cleansingourwaters | #reconciliationcanada | #fish | #indigenousrights |
It’s #PolarBearWeek. We obviously have a soft spot for these wild and free apex predators. We’ve seen both the beauty and the tragedy of polar bears, and are dedicated to showing both sides in order to provoke conversation about how we can best be stewards for these majestic animals. Photo: @paulnicklen#turningthetide
Photo: @andy_mann // This is the largest Oceanic Whitetip Shark I’ve seen in 3 years of working with scientists in Cat Island. Each visit here we are better understanding the movements of this magnificent shark. Here @cainedelacy freedives down as she hams it up for the camera. What an honor! Eastern Atlantic Oceanic Whitetips are critically endangered and seeing one of this size and full of pups is a beacon of hope.
Photo by @daisygilardini // Please welcome Daisy Gilardini as the newest member of The Collective—a trusted group of @Sea_Legacy’s esteemed friends who have pledged to use their talents and voices to amplify the message of ocean conservation. Like us, Daisy has a soft spot for bears. Follow along with us as we continue #TurningTheTide for polar bears and all the other animals that rely on a healthy ecosystem for survival. Welcome to The Collective, @daisygilardini.
Video: @andy_mann // When @paulnicklen has an idea he becomes completely consumed with it. So after he spotted a beautiful large sponge on a sunset dive, he came up to the surface, gathered the team and explained his idea, which was basically: "We come back after dark, before the storm hits and follow me down to 100 feet. We'll light the sponge from above, simulating the moon and wait for sharks and groupers to come in." Obviously we were all-in and didn't have to wait long as the sharks arrived upon entry. The 20 minutes that proceeded was a beautifully lit show of how a healthy Caribbean reef looks at night. The memory is still more like a dream and a reality. I can't wait to see his footage! Meanwhile, enjoy this short behind-the-scenes clip. #teamwork#turningthetide with @sea_legacy@cristinamittermeier@paulnicklen@iankellett_story@mdalio@samkretch / music @davisharwellmusic
All week we have been celebrating The Collective—a trusted group of @Sea_Legacy’s esteemed friends who have pledged to use their talents and voices to amplify the message of ocean conservation. However, none of this would be possible without our co-founders and fearless leaders, @cristinamittermeier and @paulnicklen. Together, we are #turningthetide for the world’s oceans. Will you join us? Click on the link in our bio to learn more.
Photo by @justinhofman // Once hunted mercilessly due to the fact that it was ‘the right whale’ to hunt, southern right whale populations have slowly began to rebound and are regularly spotted in South Africa, Australia, and Argentina. This beautiful, curious baby played with us in a protected Argentine bay while the mother quietly dozed below. Their counterparts to the north, both in the North Atlantic and the Pacific have not faired as well and their populations are critically endangered. Strong conservation initiatives and changes to shipping lanes are the only way to give right whales a chance to recover from human impact. Images taken under permit and supervision. #turningthetide | #rightwhale | #marineconservation
Photo by @andy_mann // We are announcing the final member of the five initial key players in The Collective—a trusted group of @Sea_Legacy’s esteemed friends who have pledged to use their talents and voices to amplify the message of ocean conservation. More will be announced each month. Boulder, Colorado’s Andy Mann has already been on two expeditions with @sea_legacy and has played an instrumental role on the team. He will be helping us in #TurningTheTide as we grow in strength, influence and reach. Welcome to The Collective, @andy_mann, even if you’ve already been part of it for a while. Let’s change the world.
Photo by @justinhofman // Justin Hofman is the fourth announced member of The Collective—a trusted group of @Sea_Legacy’s esteemed friends who have pledged to use their talents and voices to amplify the message of ocean conservation. Justin is an expedition leader and scientific illustrator in addition to being award-winning photographer. He will be helping us in #TurningTheTide. Welcome to The Collective, @justinhofman.
Photo by @simonagerphotography // Canadian photographer, activist and talented sailor, Simon Ager is the third member of The Collective—a trusted group of @Sea_Legacy’s esteemed friends who have pledged to use their talents and voices to amplify the message of ocean conservation. For the past decade, Ager has served with the @seashepherd, and is currently the Director of the Canadian arm. He will be helping us in #TurningTheTide for our oceans with his amazing imagery from locations that need attention most, whether it’s Antarctica (where this image was taken) or the fish farms of the B.C. Coast, where he just spent four months assisting First Nations on the occupation of several open net pen farms. We are honoured to have such a dedicated ocean advocate in The Collective. Welcome onboard, Simon. @simonagerphotography
Photo by @jodymacdonaldphoto // We are proud to announce the second member of The Collective—a trusted group of @Sea_Legacy’s esteemed friends who have pledged to use their talents and voices to amplify the message of ocean conservation. Canadian photographer @jodymacdonaldphoto will be helping us in #TurningTheTide for our oceans with her incredible imagery. She’s headed to Papua New Guinea on Monday for a @sea_legacy assignment, and she’ll be taking us along on the ride. Thank you, Jody.
Photo by @ladzinski // We are proud to announce the first member of The Collective—a trusted group of @Sea_Legacy’s esteemed friends who have pledged to use their talents and voices to amplify the message of ocean conservation. Keith Ladzinski (@ladzinski) is a photographer and filmmaker who has worked with the world’s most respected publications, like @natgeo and @nytimes. His images are stunning and we are happy to have him on our team. Thank you to Keith for helping us in #TurningTheTide for our oceans.
Video: @andy_mann // @paulnicklen in his element working in tough conditions down in Cuba to capture the beauty of the American Crocodile who calls the mangroves here home. Bearing witness to the beauty and diversity of Gardens of the Queen leaves us hopeful and excited to continue shedding a light on the Caribbean's marine ecosystems. As a Collective member I'm grateful for this SeaLegacy following and honored to be part of the tribe here. Thanks everyone for paying attention and I look forward to sharing more content here in the years ahead. The work has only just begun. #TurningTheTide with @cristinamittermeier@paulnicklen tidemembers & ambassadors.
Mosaic starfish rest on a bed of eelgrass in Cuba’s Jardines de la Reina / Gardens of the Queen. This area is limited to tourism and development, and is one of the most well preserved marine habitats in the world. It’s been said that what you see here today, is what you would have seen in the Florida Keys 150 years ago. It is proof that conservation efforts take collaboration from all the stakeholders; the Cuban government listens to the scientists and then works with business on sustainable practices. This is a formula that the rest of the world needs to work towards. With new business and tourism poised to impact the country in unprecedented ways, how will Gardens of the Queen be protected? Studies have shown that fish populations have increased by an average of 30% since this sanctuary was created.
A brain coral is home to a couple of colorful tube worms in the Jardines de la Reina, Cuba. Photo by @paulnicklen.
Cuba’s dedication to using science as a guiding principle in policy-making is a shining example of conservation in action; one that other places in the world can learn and benefit from.
The Cuban government established a 590-square-kilometre marine preserve here in 1996, restricting tourism and banning all fishing except for lobster, a crucial element in Cuba's economy. Follow along with @paulnicklen and crew as we share our discoveries in Instagram Stories. #turningtheride With @andy_mann, @samkretch and @cristinamittermeier, @aluciaproductions
“A young Pacific white sided dolphin cruises above its mother 150 kilometres off the west coast of British Columbia. I love how curious these dolphins can be. This mother kept bringing her young calf over to investigate the intruder in her ocean. The team at @oceansinitiative has done some amazing work on these dolphins and other species, on the effects of ship noise and how it effects their fishing effectiveness. It’s encouraging to know small, dedicated organizations are out there trying to find real life solutions to our oceans’ problems. A big thank you from my team at @sea_legacy to @oceansinitiative for #turningthetide.” - @paulnicklen
There are only 76 southern resident Orcas left, making them an endangered species. It was recently acknowledged by the Canadian government that “everyone will have to do their part to reduce noise” and pledged to to “whatever it takes” to protect them and in support of that, the honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard has announced $7.2 million in new science funding for @ocean_networks. This is huge step forward and reassures us that change is possible. Thank you Oceans Network Canada, (ONC) and Minister LeBlanc.
Photo: @CristinaMittermeier, Orcas in the Salish Sea. #savethewhales | #TurningTheTide | #DFO | #10by2020 | #canada | #orcas
“Of all of the marine species I have spent time with, pinnipeds have provided the most laughs. While diving at Hornby Island’s Norris Rocks, dozens of very curious sea lions turned us into giant chew toys. I have been diving with these sea lions for many years and it is an experience that is hard to beat. It is very difficult to photograph when your mask is full of water from laughing so hard.” - @PaulNicklen#turningthetide in the Salish Sea with @cristinamittermeier for @sea_legacy