Kayaking with orcas lead Sea Kayak Adventures to Johnstone Strait, the northern section of Vancouver Island’s Inside Passage. Johnstone Strait in July-Sept is the best place in the world to kayak with orcas and see killer whales up close, due to the concentration of orcas in this narrow, sheltered waterway. This unique subspecies of orca, called "northern residents," is found nowhere else on earth and eats only fish. They congregate each summer in Johnstone Strait to feast on the prolific salmon runs concentrated by the geography of the strait.
This part of British Columbia, Canada also hosts a wealth of other life, from dolphins and porpoises to seals and otters. Below the waves, a myriad of fish, crustaceans, and invertebrates support this diverse ecosystem. None are more vital than the Pacific salmon, which plays a key role in sustenance for the entire ecosystem. Bald eagles, orcas, bears and generations of First Nations people rely on the salmon which is why we must take care to protect them.
In accordance with Sea Kayak Adventures’ adherence to sustainable tourism and eco-friendly tours, we support and donate to local environmental groups in our tour areas. One such non-profit is Save Our Salmon, an organization dedicated to smart aquaculture and the preservation of the Pacific salmon. In British Columbia, fish farms threaten the Pacific salmon population, which in turn threatens the orcas and other magnificent wildlife of the area. Farmed Atlantic salmon, tightly packed in open-net pens in the same waters as the Pacific salmon, introduce disease, pollution, parasites, and destruction to the wild salmon of the area. The Pacific salmon disappear in droves from this influence, which hurts everyone from commercial wild-catch fisherman, to the First Nations salmon-based culture, to the tourists who adore the orcas and marine life of the area. Save Our Salmon monitors the issues with peer-reviewed scientific studies and offers solutions for innovative, sustainable aquaculture in British Columbia – and in turn, Save Our Salmon and the orcas that depend on them. What You Can Do: The plight of the salmon and the orcas may seem far removed from the life of most Americans and Canadians, but there are easy steps you can take to help these remarkable animals: • Choose to help orcas – at the grocery store! – by purchasing only wild-caught, Pacific salmon such as Coho, Sockeye, Chinook, etc. According to Save Our Salmon, 85% of the farmed Atlantic salmon is sold to consumers the United States. Reducing demand for farmed salmon is the first step to ending the deadly influence of the farms. Plus, do you really want to feed your family fish that has been raised in a parasitic environment, covered with sea lice, and dyed pink? • Canadians: approach your politicians and inform them of your concerns. • Support Save Our Salmon and Adopt-A-Fry, a non-profit advocacy group founded by orca expert Alexandra Morton, in their efforts to save the Pacific Salmon.