Coastal B.C. is a playground that offers endless recreational opportunities: fishing, kayaking, sailing, whale watching, scuba diving, beachcombing and nature photography. The intact and abundant coastal ecosystem is one of B.C.’s greatest natural resources. Marine tourism is the fastest growing sector of the province’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry, bringing much needed jobs and revenue to coastal communities. In 2005 marine recreation and tourism contributed an estimated $1.8 billion to B.C.’s GDP and employed over 32,000 people1.
If you are one of the 600,000 licensed anglers2 in B.C, you’ll likely know that recreational fishing has been a defining characteristic of life in the province for generations. The waters off of northern B.C. offer some of the province’s most productive fishing grounds. Salmon, halibut, steelhead, lingcod, rockfish, dungeness crab and prawns are plentiful.
Marine recreation of all types would be negatively impacted in the event of a major oil tanker spill.
Data Source: The data used to illustrate recreational activities were obtained from the B.C. Marine Conservation Analysis (BCMCA)3. The point locations for dive sites and lines displaying kayak routes were compiled by the BCMCA from a variety of sources. Data displaying areas of interest for recreational (sport) fishing are compilations of the knowledge of experienced fishermen on the B.C. coast. Crab fishing targets primarily Dungeness and red rock crab, salmon fishing targets five species of Pacific salmon (chinook, coho, chum, pink and sockeye), and groundfish fishermen target bottom fish, primarily halibut, lingcod and rockfish. Through Sport Fish Advisory Board meetings, the B.C. Marine Conservation Analysis project asked sport fishermen to review existing data on recreational fishing sites, originally developed by the Province of British Columbia and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Further updates were made to areas in the southern Strait of Georgia by Parks Canada. Information on all these datasets, including metadata, can be found on the B.C. Marine Conservation Analysis’ website3. Recreation areas are found coast wide but only those within the map study area on the North and Central Coast of British Columbia are displayed here.