Released today by Rocky Mountain Books, the nonfiction book At Sea with the Marine Birds of the Raincoast shares the unique story of conservation scientist Dr. Caroline Fox as she sails thousands of kilometers along the British Columbian coast, surveying marine birds. Trailed by curious albatrosses and encountering puffins, cranes, and storm-petrels, Fox calls attention to the urgent conservation challenges faced by a diversity of marine bird species.
Fox, a conservation scientist with Raincoast Conservation Foundation, notes “in 2004, we initiated five years of unprecedented marine surveys to address outstanding knowledge gaps relating to the distribution and abundance of both marine birds and mammals in coastal BC. Several proposed oil and gas developments were looming. Now, as our current federal government works to implement an oil tanker ban on BC’s northern coast, we wanted to add to the already convincing body of evidence that highlights how little we know, and what’s at stake for vulnerable marine bird species and ecosystems.”
Fox adds, “While the threats marine birds face are real – and extinctions are on the horizon – solutions are readily apparent. These include the protection of important habitats, removing introduced species on breeding colonies, reducing fisheries bycatch and curbing the flood of pollutants, contaminants and debris that enter coastal ecosystems.”
Accompanied by images of marine birds and coastal scenes, drawings, and both archival and modern photography, this book reveals the fascinating – and often secret – lives of marine birds at sea. Serving to raise awareness, this book comes at a critical time as the spectre of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline and oil tanker project is seemingly on the rise again. In addition, with the implications of a changing climate and an increasingly industrialized coast being felt, the book calls for renewed efforts to conserve marine birds and the habitats upon which they rely.