2021 Biosphere Research Award
We are so pleased to share the details of Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society’s project funded by our Biosphere Research Award for 2021!
The Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society (SIMRS) is a registered charity dedicated to promoting and conducting marine research, monitoring and education in Clayoquot Sound. Their project will be to conduct an extensive Marine Pelagic Species Survey to increase understanding of these species and to aid in informing policy and educating the public.
This project was inspired by the vast gaps in knowledge of the species that inhabit offshore (pelagic) marine ecosystems, many of which are considered Threatened, Endangered, or Data Deficient. These knowledge gaps make it difficult to assess the current health of marine pelagic species and their habitats and inhibits capacity to address threats to these ecosystems.
Nearly three decades ago, SIMRS began addressing this problem through pelagic transect surveys, which remains to be the only existing baseline database for pelagic marine bird species in Clayoquot Sound to date. Their goal is to increase their understanding of pelagic marine species, offshore habitats, key threats, and recent changes to pelagic ecosystems by collecting new data along the same transect as the original study.
The scope of this project and the data that will be collected exceeds simply increasing understanding of these species. The data will aid to inform policy makers on critical habitat and population recovery as well as help to identify and address threats to marine mammals within the study area.
The project will also include direct community conservation actions. By educating local communities on marine mammal protocol and threats to key species, they hope to encourage direct conservation actions both on and off the water.
Congratulations to the entire SIMRS team on this grant and we look forward to following your progress.
For more information on the Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society, follow them on Facebook.
To learn more about about the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust’s granting stream, please visit https://clayoquotbiosphere.org/grants/overview or call us at 250-725-2219.