Glass sponge reefs were thought to have gone extinct 30 million years ago, but in 1987 researchers mapping the sea floor discovered them in Georgia Strait. There’s a reef in the waters off Sechelt and another near Roberts Creek.
Over half of the northern reefs were destroyed before fishing closures were put in place by Fisheries and Oceans Canada in 2002. CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society) and the SCCA have organized a petition to put trawl and trap line closures in the areas of the southern glass sponge reefs to prevent damage from human activities.
As there is not a large overlap between these reefs and current fishing areas, the impact on fisheries should be minimal, and the benefits will be great. As well as being extraordinarily beautiful, glass sponge reefs form natural habitat and breeding areas for marine creatures such as prawns and rock fish.
You can sign a petition at the following Sunshine Coast locations:
- Wharfingers Office Gibson’s harbour.
- Sunshine Coast Credit Union, Sechelt
- Sechelt Library front desk
- SunCoast Diving, Sechelt
- Marine and Mountain Adventure Outfitters, Sechelt
For further information or to get a petition, contact David Moul (dmoul<at>dccnet.com) or 604 886-7458. You can also read more about the Glass Sponge Reef campaign at the CPAWS website.