I have had the privilege and the responsibility as Fisheries minister and chair of numerous special committees to bring to government and those we elect an accurate picture of the beauty of the fisheries and the habitat it depends upon. The Sea Among Us is an ideal book to be read by all our federal members of parliament and members of our provincial legislative assembly. I know from extensive experience that ultimately those we elect will make the definitive decisions, for good or ill, which will affect the fishery and the enjoyment of everyone who benefits from the resource.
The economic advantage to the province of the fishery and the resource are significant, and the sustainability of these resources is practical and pragmatic financial and economic sense. It touches all of us in one way or another. We have a duty to cherish and maintain this marvellous gift for now and for future generations who will follow us.
It is my view that this book is an excellent and timely work and will be considered invaluable to all who care about our local fisheries and resources. However, this is not a book to read only by fishery scientists and those charged with the administration of fisheries. There are within British Columbia thousands of citizens who care for the resource who are not necessarily scientifically trained, or for that matter intimately involved with the fishery from time to time. But these people are culturally, socially and economically tied to the Strait of Georgia and the fisheries; these include First Nations, guides and outfitters, tourists and visitors and more broadly, all those who appreciate this beautiful province.
I especially recommend this book to teachers who can bring awareness to a whole new younger generation. Our objective is the sustainability of local resources from one generation to the next. This is not just an economic necessity but, in my view, a moral responsibility. Teachers can encourage their students to understand and care for their environment; ultimately these are our future champions for good management and effective protection.
The Honourable John Fraser, P.C., O.C., O.B.C., C.D., Q.C., LL.D. (Hon)
The Sea Among Us
The Amazing Strait of Georgia
Richard Beamish and Gordon McFarlane
The Sea Among Us
The Strait of Georgia is one of the world’s great inland seas, a 6,515 square kilometre body of water lying between the British Columbia mainland and Vancouver Island. Rich in history and teeming with wildlife and marine traffic, the waterway is essential to British Columbian for food, jobs, ravel, and recreation. The sheltered shores of the Strait are home to Canada’s largest seaport and over two thirds of the province’s population.
The Sea Among Us is the first book to present a comprehensive study of the Strait of Georgia in all its aspects featuring chapters on geology, oceanography, invertebrates and marine plants, fish, marine mammals, birds, and human history. Expert contributors describe how fjords formed, and what the sea floor is made of, and why coastal British Columbia is prone to earthquakes; they advise on which jellyfish sting, how to tell the difference between Dall’s and harbour porpoises and where to find whales, and they address how climate change and human impact could affect the strait noting that though marine ecosystems are tough and adaptable, there are limits to this resiliency.
Informative, descriptive, cautionary, and entertaining, The Sea Among Us is illustrated with colour photographs, figures, and drawings. It is an essential addition to any British Columbia library, and is a must for scientists, educators and anyone interested in sustaining one of British Columbia’s greatest and most productive assets.
“It is the function of this book to inform British Columbians about the Strait of Georgia. All authors hope that the readers will use the information to ask questions about how the Strait of Georgia is coping with change and how they can provide more of the information that is needed to maintain a healthy Strait of Georgia.”
Dr. Richard Beamish
Editor, The Sea Among Us
All author royalties go toward the Pacific Salmon Foundation
whose support for this project was indispensable.