May 11th, 2023
Across the Salish Sea, monitoring the ocean with light traps may illuminate the future of Dungeness crabs. The Hakai Magazine recently launched a story about the Hakai Institute’s multiyear Sentinels of Change program. Launched in 2022 to mark the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development as part of the Biodiversity Action Network project, this community-centered initiative involves understanding how marine invertebrates are adapting to the changing environment. The project partners with over 30 organizations, such as IMERSS, First Nations communities, and institutions such as the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea in Sidney, to manage a network of light traps. This Canadian initiative was inspired by the Pacific Northwest Crab Research Group (PCRG), which set up a similar network of light traps in Puget Sound in 2019. As the PCRG continues its work and the Sentinels of Change program ramps up, the hope is that by the end of this decade the data from both sides of the border could help fisheries managers make decisions about how the crab can be harvested sustainably into the future.