Marine Conservation


 Hornby Islanders have expressed a lot of interest in the herring populations around our island and particularly in the Herring Spawn that happens at the end of February and early March every year. We know very little about these amazing fish and their importance in the marine eco-system.

To help us better understand these fish Conservancy Hornby Island is sponsoring a “Herring School” (please pardon the play on words) for Saturday March 18 this year. Three speakers are coming from off island to present us with their knowledge, research and insights into herring. They are: Don Pepper, Mimi Lam, Tony Pitcher. Grant Scott will be presenting the latest Power Point presentation on the marine and particularly herring resources around Hornby.

Dr. Don Pepper is a fisheries economist and retired commercial fisherman who was born in the fishing community of Alert Bay. He fished salmon and herring for many years. Don taught at BCIT and spent ten years with DFO in Ottawa as an economist before returning to BC. He holds a PhD from the University of Wales for his thesis ‘Men, Boats, and Fish in the North Atlantic’. He has also authored a recent book “Fishing the Coast”, published by Harbour”. He will be speaking about the history of the herring fishery, methods of fishing herring, changes in markets and new and more sustainable ways to manage herring and the herring fishery.

Dr. Mimi Lam is a research associate at the Institute of Oceans and Fisheries at UBC. She has studied how people value and interact with the marine environment. and communities interact with the marine environment. She is an expert on seafood sustainability, marine policy and governance and community involvement in fisheries management.

Dr. Lam’s talk is titled “Hard of Herring: Is DFO Listening to What Communities Are Saying?” She will present the results of her work with the Haida First Nation people and their solutions to the Haida Gwaii herring fishery conflict.

Dr. Tony Pitcher is a Professor at the UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. To date he has trained a number of fisheries scientists whom now hold important positions worldwide. His research emphasises how to restore damaged ecosystems such as herring and how to analyze the impacts of fishing on the marine environment. The title for Tony’s presentation is, “Herring Aid: can new science save the herring?”. He will speak on the following three science topics followed by an open discussion. Do herring go home to spawn? Does fishing herring affect the rest of the ecosystem? What impacts could climate change have on our herring populations?

Herring Fest WEB poster updated

About the Hornby Island Marine Conservation Initiative

Goal and Purpose
The goal of this project is to protect and conserve marine values around Hornby Island. The purpose is to identify, collect data and map the marine ecological values around the Island, educate the public on Hornby and elsewhere on the importance of these values and create a strategy and consensus for marine conservation. We are reaching out to work with other organizations with the ultimate goal of creating a Hornby Island Marine Conservation Plan with the legal authority to implement the Plan.

Marine Values and Information Identification
Identifying the values and mapping them is the foundation of this project. A first draft of marine values that we propose need protection or identification are as follows:
1) Herring
2) Salmon
3) Ground fish (ling cod, rock fish, etc.)
4) Shellfish (Clams, oysters, crabs, scallop, abalone, geoducks)
5) Forage fish
6) Eel grass and kelp beds
7) First Nations traditional territories and cultural sites, e.g., shell middens, fish weir, petroglyphs, etc.,
8) Marine mammals (seals, sea lions, whales, otters)
9) Birds (ducks, eagles, loons, migratory birds, etc.) including nesting sites
10) Existing Aquaculture tenures
11) Existing zoning
12) Recreational use sites: e.g., Anchorages, beaches, viewscapes, etc.,

Mapping and Data Preparation
We are in the process of preparing the maps and data bases for the information about marine values around Hornby Island. The draft maps and database will be in an accessible form to inform the community and gather input. Maps and data are the foundation of a marine planning process.

Community Awareness and Involvement
It is essential that the people of Hornby Island, both full time and part time residents are part of the Marine Planning initiative process. The Hornby Island Community Fund has granted us 500 dollars to host an open house meeting/workshop at the Community Hall in fall 2016. At this open house, the community will sit down to decide what the layers of marine values that need conservation are. We provide a picture of each of these values through maps, power point, pictures, and data, and identify what has high value to the committee and the community.

Identifying and Implementing the Plan
First we will identify:
1) The final management objectives and the relevant authorities
2) Who has legal authority to implement and enforce marine conservation policies
3) What marine conservation already exists in the area and who has what authority for the policy development in this project at different levels of government
Following this we will:
1) Present Conservation Plan to the Community
2) Receive Community Input and Finalize the Plan
3) Implement and Monitor the Plan.


We are currently seeking funding from the following sources:
1. CHI and Hornby Community Members
2. Fundraising events on Hornby
3. Foundations
4. Governments, local, federal and provincial.

The estimated timeline for this project is 5 years.