Hydrophone Network in Great Bear Sea

Organization: Pacific Wild
Website: www.pacificwild.org
Based in: The Great Bear Rainforest (Denny Island, B.C.)
Project: Enhancing a hydrophone network in Great Bear Sea
Fundraising goal: $60,000

The SSC is supporting Pacific Wild in achieving a fundraising goal of $60,000 to enhance their marine hydrophone network and build a case to designate a portion of the Great Bear Sea as a marine acoustic sanctuary, a protected area in which harmful acoustic pollution from day to day super-tanker traffic would be banned.

Pacific Wild has been engaged in a variety of land and marine use planning, advocacy and conservation efforts in the Great Bear Rainforest since even before it was called the Great Bear Rainforest (>20 years).

Over the years, their work has brought international attention to the unique and diverse ecosystems that abound on the central and north coast of British Columbia. In addition, Pacific Wild’s work has contributed to leading edge research that has informed land and marine use management decisions and broader conservation strategies in the region.With mounting threats to the Great Bear Sea associated with, among other things, proposed tanker traffic (LNG and Oil) and climate change, Pacific Wild has ramped up efforts to develop a baseline understanding of what makes this marine ecosystem so unique.

As part of this work, Pacific Wild has deployed a network of hydrophone stations and remote underwater cameras. These stations have been strategically deployed in areas with high biological diversity known for large aggregations of marine mammals.SSC will be working with Pacific Wild to enhance their marine hydrophone network and develop a case for a marine acoustic sanctuary in the Great Bear Sea.

This work will happen over a multi-year timeframe and necessitate significant resources and expertise for planning, research, and advocacy. As a first step we’ll have to work with and support Pacific Wild to increase their baseline data and build a case for a marine acoustic sanctuary.There are more than 10 proposed liquefied natural gas and oil export facilities proposed for the north coast of B.C. The scale and significance of these threats are staggering, especially to the marine environment.

Over recent years there’s been a remarkable increase in the abundance and distribution of marine mammals on the coast. Humpback whales, Fin whales, and Killer whales are showing up in historical numbers year after year. The proposed shipping traffic will no doubt have significant impacts on these species and will affect their ability to forage, feed, communicate, and mate in the quiet and rich marine environment-the Great Bear Sea.Following Sitka’s lead in opposing oil tanker traffic on the B.C. coast, the SSC will embark on this campaign to build a case for a marine acoustic sanctuary.