Behind every Ocean Decade Action is a team of dedicated and passionate ocean professionals. Oriana Smy had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Cherisse Du Preez, who is certainly no exception to this statement. Dr. Du Preez is the Head of the Deep-Sea Ecology Program at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria. Or as she sees it: “I get paid to explore the deep-sea, which is a really cool job!” As Canada has committed to protect 30% of the ocean, she feels honoured to look for the amazing places and animals within deep-sea ecosystems to help reach that level of protection.
The Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific was thrilled to help organize the 2023 Coastal Zone Canada (CZC) biennial conference last week from June 11-15 in the Lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Territory (Victoria, B.C.). The conference was a UN Ocean Decade endorsed activity that brought together a diverse mix of ocean professionals from across Canada and beyond.
The BioBlitz event, held from May 26th-28th, 2023 on Galiano Island, BC, Canada, was a success, attracting over 100 participants who made over 1,600 observations of more than 600 species. Hosted by multiple ecological institutions, the event aimed to document terrestrial, freshwater, and marine biodiversity. Observations are being integrated into the Xetthecum Eco-cultural Mapping Pilot Project, and hard-to-identify species are being DNA barcoded for identification. Some of the most observed marine species were sea cauliflower, the ochre sea star, and the aggregating anemone. The event also included presentations on various ecological topics and research projects.