Speaker addresses herring and the health of the Salish Sea

Bryce Casavant sits in the interior of a boat

January 31, 2023 - 9:45am

What: On the brink: Herring and the health of the Salish Sea, the latest topic in VIU’s Engaged Citizens Speaker Series

When: Monday, February 6, 2023, 6:30 pm (doors open at 6 pm)

Where: VIU’s Malaspina Theatre (Building 310) on VIU’s Nanaimo campus. People can also join via Zoom Webinar. Register via Eventbrite for this free talk.

What does the future hold for the Salish Sea in a time of climate change?

Humpback whale and Pacific white-sided dolphin populations are increasing; however, Pacific herring – a cornerstone species for all marine biodiversity – are on the verge of collapse. The latest edition of the Engaged Citizens Speaker Series looks at the future of the Salish Sea and importance of protecting Pacific herring. The annual spawning event was recently featured in the new Netflix documentary Island of the Sea Wolves and was called “absolutely life-sustaining for the Island” even though it lasts for just a few days.

Featured speaker Bryce Casavant, Director of Conservation Intelligence with Pacific Wild, will focus his talk on the importance of herring to BC coastal communities, as well as gaps and opportunities for repair and reform of current management practices.

“We are going to talk about a tiny little fish that is often overlooked – a fish that is actually a very serious cornerstone of the entire marine ecosystem in British Columbia,” said Casavant. “Not only does this little fish support larger predators, such as Chinook salmon, which in turn support southern resident killer whales, but also humans.”

Casavant is a veteran and former BC Conservation Officer who grew up on Vancouver Island. He previously worked with Pacific Wild as the Senior Policy Analyst and has now re-joined the team as the Director of Conservation Intelligence. Casavant has more than 20 years of experience working with NGOs and environmental legal teams. He holds a Doctorate in Social Sciences and periodically lectures in legal aspects of environmental management.  

Casavant’s presentation, Fighting Fish: herring/fisheries management in the context of Canadian laws, will be followed by a question-and-answer period with the audience. Dr. Nicole Vaugeois, VIU’s Associate Vice-President of Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity, will emcee the event.

This edition of the Engaged Citizens Speaker Series is presented by TD Insurance and the VIU Alumni Association and is part of VIU’s annual celebration of Global Citizens Week. Register via Eventbrite.



Jenn McGarrigle, External Communications Manager, Vancouver Island University

C: 250.619.6860 | E: jenn.mcgarrigle@viu.ca | @VIUniversity

Tags: Speaker Series | Announcements

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