Clockwise, from top left, is a Farrea sea sponge and deep-sea sunflower star, an Agonidae poacher and squat lobsters around an orange sea pen, and some Benthopectinidae sea stars and boot sponges seen on the SGaan-Kinghlas/Bowie seamount. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada/DFO Science)

Research expedition to explore seamounts off Haida Gwaii

Islanders will be able to livestream underwater video from the SG̱aan-Ḵinghlas/Bowie seamount next month when a research expedition explores the ecosystem on the submarine volcano.

From July 5 to 21, a joint science expedition will explore the Bowie, Dellwood, and Explorer seamounts from the Nautilus, a 64-metre research vessel.

Bowie Seamount is a 3,000-metre submarine volcano about 180 km west of Haida Gwaii. It is closer to the ocean surface than any other seamount in Canada.

The Dellwood seamounts are a smaller range south of Cape St. James and west of northern Vancouver Island. Explorer is an 830-metre seamount that is still further south along a volcanic ridge between the Pacific and Explorer plates.

Announced on June 8, World Oceans Day, the expedition is a partnership between Oceana Canada, an ocean conservation group, as well as the Haida Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Ocean Networks Canada.

“The ocean is vast and doesn’t give up its secrets easily,” said Dr. Robert Rangely, Oceana’s director of science, according to a press release.

Dr. Rangley added that collaboration is key to better understanding and protecting marine ecosystems.

“The Haida Nation’s territory extends from the mountains, forests and rivers of Haida Gwaii to the depths of the ocean, including seamounts such as SGaan-Kinghlas , Supernatural Being Looking Outwards,” said Haida Nation President Kil tlaats ‘gaa, Peter Lantin, according to the same release.

Earlier this year, scientists published new research that found summer is the most critical time to avoid shipping noise impacts on the whales and fish that feed around Bowie. A protected area of 6,131 km2 around the seamount actually includes a range of three peaks.

Another research paper recently published by Fisheries and Oceans Canada lists 49 marine animals in the chordata category that were spotted during surveys around Bowie — from deep-sea sunflower stars to boot sponges and squat lobsters. A similar paper listed 66 kinds of algae, bryozoa, and other organisms seen during the same surveys in 2000, 2011, and 2015.

Other research has found that oil spills, seismic surveys, fishing, and aquatic invasive species pose the greatest risks to the Bowie Seamount ecosystem.

While seamounts were not widely studied since the 1980s, they are now considered offshore biodiversity hotspots, with ideal conditions for coral and sponge habitats.

To watch daily livestream video of the seafloor and get updates from the team, visit ProtectOceans.ca.

Just Posted

Several more days before salvage of barge can begin on Haida Gwaii

The barge and lodge broke away from their moorings in high winds on Sept. 8 and ran aground.

Photographer finds rare sights at Takakia Lake

It took three summers, but Gregory Gould finally saw vistas and meteors by the protected alpine lake

Haida Gwaii high schools get a jump on new curriculum

Haida Gwaii high school students are starting the year with some new… Continue reading

Haida Gwaii Funeral Services gets support

Village of Queen Charlotte donates storage facility to non-profit group

Tlellagraph: One fire, two points of view

“No matter how good a person you are, you are evil in… Continue reading

Canning sockeye by hand in North Coast B.C.

Arnie Nagy teaches the Northern View how to can salmon in Prince Rupert

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read