A special gift for Pacific salmon this holiday season: Prince of Whales plays santa for salmon

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Dec. 21, 2022

Vancouver, B.C. – Pacific salmon and the killer whales that depend on them for survival receive a special gift this holiday season as Prince of Whales announces a $130,000 contribution to the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

As witnessed this year, climate change is a major driving factor for salmon survival. It’s impacting ocean temperature, salinity, and food availability in the marine environment. It’s also changing freshwater ecosystems as droughts, fires, and floods impact salmon habitat.

Pacific salmon are a keystone species. They support more than 130 other species – including orcas, bears, eagles and many other animals and plants – that are paramount to British Columbia’s spectacular ecosystems.

“We all depend on salmon, including killer whale populations that draw tens of thousands of visitors to our region each year. We are at a critical time where species at risk need our help. On behalf of Prince of Whales, we are proud to partner with the Pacific Salmon Foundation to help drive research and action to help Pacific salmon populations recover,” says, Alan McGillivray, President and Owner of Prince of Whales Whale and Marine Wildlife Adventures, North Island Kayak, and SEA Vancouver.

Currently, only 73 Southern Resident killer whales remain in the Salish Sea. Chinook salmon are a vital food source for killer whales. But with declining Chinook numbers – eight populations of south coast Chinook are currently classified as endangered and four as threatened – food shortages have become a prominent issue for killer whales and their survival.

Given the combined concerns surrounding the status of killer whales and widespread declines in salmon populations in B.C., Prince of Whales has stepped up to help advance the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s critical research and habitat work in the marine environment.

The donation will support Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Marine Science Program, which leads research efforts and conservation initiatives specific to the environmental factors impacting salmon survival as they enter marine waters. These efforts build off international research conducted by the Marine Science team and partners that highlights the vital importance of the first summer and winter of life in the ocean for salmon survival. This work currently includes uncovering where and why salmon and forage fish are dying, restoring key kelp and eelgrass habitats, enhancing the resilience of coastal ecosystems, visualizing ecological, environmental, and human impact data in the Strait of Georgia, and more.

The contribution will also advance research into cumulative impacts of climate change-driven factors: ocean temperature, salinity, food availability, and the combined impacts of pathogens from open-net pen salmon farms.

“Chinook salmon comprise a significant portion of the Southern Resident killer whale diet in summer months. Many Chinook populations are trending downward in population numbers, and Chinook research, restoration and protection is a major focus of our work at the Pacific Salmon Foundation,” says Michael Meneer, CEO and president, Pacific Salmon Foundation. “The Pacific Salmon Foundation is thankful to Prince of Whales for their generosity and support, which will be deployed to prioritize restoration and enhancement initiatives to sustain salmon and their habitats. Salmon are resilient; with our support, they can recover, rebound, and thrive.”

Prince of Whales is sponsoring Pacific Salmon Foundation’s upcoming South Vancouver Island Gala and flagship Vancouver Gala with leadership sponsorships, live auction donations and more. To learn more or purchase tickets to attend, visit PSF’s events page.

MEDIA CONTACTS

  • Allison Colina, Vice President, Development, Marketing, and Communications, Pacific Salmon Foundation: acolina@psf.ca

About Pacific Salmon Foundation: The Pacific Salmon Foundation is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wild Pacific salmon and their habitats in B.C. and the Yukon. Our motto is: salmon first, salmon always. Working with Indigenous partners, thousands of stream keepers, government, academic institutions, and a coalition of people for salmon, we never go it alone. Our mission is to conserve salmon for the benefit of generations to come. psf.ca

About Prince of Whales Whale & Marine Wildlife Adventures: Founded in 1993, Prince of Whales Whale & Marine Wildlife Adventures has operations in Victoria, Vancouver, and Telegraph Cove. The company operates more than 15 vessels, including high-speed catamarans, Zodiacs, and custom-built cruisers. Prince of Whales is a Climate Positive marine adventure company, certified by Ostrom Climate, and is committed to offsetting at least 110% of their emissions annually. As an industry leader, Prince of Whales is supports organizations such as the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Ocean Wise, 1% for the Planet, Centre for Whale Research, and the Peninsula Streams Society. For more information, visit princeofwhales.com.