A young fisher dips her net into the Skeena River in search of eulachons in 2018. (Shannon Lough file photo)

A young fisher dips her net into the Skeena River in search of eulachons in 2018. (Shannon Lough file photo)

High-tech projects to peer into health of Skeena River estuary

Proposals from Shift Environmental compliment ghost-gear retrival project with Lax Kw’alaams

The North Coast Regional District has issued a letter of support for two projects employing the latest technology to gain a deeper understanding of the Skeena River estuary ecosystem.

Nanaimo-based Shift Environmental Technologies (SETI) proposes to accurately measure the extent of eel grass beds at Flor Bank using a combination of drone mapping and side-scan imagery, in addition to a second project of using a sonar camera to estimate eulachon run sizes on the Skeena River this spring.

“Both these proposals are novel and employ the newest of technology with the hopes of a deeper understanding of ecosystem services of the estuary,” Robert Milne, SETI’s field operations manger said in a letter to the NCRD.

READ MORE: Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Eulachon populations, an important traditional food of many B.C. First Nations, crashed in the late 1990s and are still struggling to recover.

SETI came up with the project ideas during current work with the Lax Kw’alaams Fishing Enterprise to locate and remove lost and abandoned fishing gear, or ghost gear, using side-scan radar throughout crab-fishing Area B. The area contains high concentrations of ghost gear in sensitive marine habitat that sees some of the heaviest crabbing activity in the province.

SETI hopes to expand the program with other First Nations, as they have the required assets, infrastructure and capacity to keep the projects running and take a leadership role in designing and delivering new industry practices.

The project includes three key goals; a survey and retrieval operations with First Nation fishers to reduce the net load of lost gear in the marine environment; the development of a Pilot Recycling Center to re-use and recycle waste items; and to determine the feasibility of creating value added products from recovered waste, using a circular-economy model.

Lax Kw’alaams Fishing Enterprises is the operational lead for the project with administrative planning and operational support from SETI, alongside local partners Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA), Port Edward Harbour Authority (PEHA) and DP World Inc.

READ MORE: ‘A grave concern’: European green crabs discovered on Haida Gwaii



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

ConservationScience

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Most Read