Join Ramona C. de Graaf to learn about fish forage species that spawn on the beach right under our feet and drive our local ocean ecosystem.
Attendees will learn about the key forage fish species, drivers of our local ocean ecosystem, that spawn on beaches – right under our feat! Surf smelt once supported a vibrant commercial fishery, vitally important to First Nations, and still are heavily recreationally fished today. Pacific sand lance, or needlefish, are on everyone’s dinner plate, and are called the “quintessential” forage fish of the North East Pacific. In fact, up to 50% of the diet of adult chinook is Pacific sand lance, we can all connect to the salmon on our BBQ or the importance of Chinook to resident killer whales. The spawning habitat of forage fish is one of the most endangered on the planet due to sea level rise. This talk will also discuss what is happening to protect these important fish. Ramona de Graaf, BSc., MSc, is a marine biologist who has studied the ecology of Surf smelt and Pacific sand lance for 12 years. Nicknamed “Queen of the Smelts” by her many forage fish friends, Ramona is the executive director of Sea Watch Society and the scientist-in-charge of the BC Shore Spawners Alliance (BCSSA).
The Discovery Passage Aquarium Public Science Speaker Series is sponsored by the Campbell River Mirror and North Island College. The talk is on May 15 at 7 pm at the Maritime Heritage Centre in Campbell River. Admission is by donation.