Racing Toward Rockfish Recovery: Community-Based Marine Conservation in the Southern Gulf Island




Kushneryk, Katrina

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My research dove into community-based marine conservation efforts in the Southern Gulf Islands, with a focus on rockfish conservation on Galiano Island. Of the 37 species of rockfish found in British Columbia (BC), 8 species are currently threatened or at risk. In BC, 164 Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs) have been established, which are closed year round to hook and line fishing in order to help rebuild plummeting rockfish populations. Galiano Island touches three separate RCAs. As part of my research, trail cameras facing these RCAs were used to monitor recreational fishing activity. Interviews with people fishing around Galiano were conducted in order to determine the level of public awareness of RCAs. Public outreach efforts, such as setting up booths at environmental events and giving brief talks around Galiano Island, the surrounding Gulf Islands, and Victoria, were carried out in order to raise awareness for rockfish conservation and provide public education. These activities contributed to the Rockfish Conservation Project, an ongoing effort between the University of Victoria, the Galiano Conservancy Association (GCA), and Valdes Island Conservancy (VIC). As the GCA and VIC are both community-based non-governmental organizations, one aspect of my research looked into the effectiveness of environmental efforts that are rooted in and driven by community engagement.


This research was supported by the Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award


community engagement, rockfish conservation areas, marine conservation