A treasure trove of biological hot spots sheltering ancient rockfish, delicate corals, and sponges hidden inside the inlets of British Columbia’s isolated central coast merit protection, a new study indicates.
A number of sites of exceptional biodiversity—well-known to the region’s First Nations but previously undocumented by science—have been identified with joint research between the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance (CCIRA) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), said one of the study’s lead authors, Alejandro Frid.
The hot spots studied fall within the territories of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Wuikinuxv, Nuxalk and Heiltsuk Nations, which are also involved in the CCIRA, Frid said.
“None of (the hot spots) was a surprise to the First Nations,” Frid said, adding a number of sites identified through traditional knowledge need more exploration. “But from a formal scientific standpoint, there were no surveys of what was there in terms of rockfishes, corals and sponges.”