WWF Canada Blog:
Fresh Water

News, views and analysis from our team as we work to create solutions to conservation challenges facing our planet.


Writers visit the Great Bear Sea to tell the greatest fishing tale yet

When three talented novelists go on a fishing trip together, you’d expect some pretty tall fish tales to come back with them. But when acclaimed authors Joseph Boyden (Three Day Road, Through Black Spruce), Andrew Davidson,(The Gargoyle) and Steven Galloway (Ascension, The Cellist of Sarajevo) joined WWF on a trip to the Great Bear Sea, they ended up talking less about the trophies that got away than the treasures we need to keep.

Andrew Davidson, Darcy Dobell, Joseph Boyden and Steven Galloway at the King Pacific Lodge in the Great Bear Region.  (C) WWF-Canada

The writers met with researchers at Cetacealab, a whale research station that is tracking the surprising and encouraging return of at-risk Humpback and Fin whales to these waters. They learned that, thanks to a combination of extraordinarily productive seas and relative absence of underwater noise, the Great Bear Sea provides crucial feeding and rearing grounds for many species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

A Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) breaching in the waters of the Juan de Fuca Strait, British Columbia, Canada. © Natalie Bowes / WWF-Canada

The writers talked with residents of the Gitga’at community of Hartley Bay, hearing again and again how healthy seas and fisheries have a central place in the food, culture, economy, history, and future of this region.

Boyden and Davidson with Gitga’at No Tanker sign. (C) WWF-Canada

They talked with commercial fishermen, recreational fishing guides, and staff at King Pacific Lodge, learning how summer jobs and lifelong careers depend on abundant resources and healthy ecosystems.

Commercial fishing boats, off the coast of BC, Canada. © Natalie Bowes / WWF-Canada

They talked with other guests at the lodge, some of whom were seeing the Great Bear Sea for the first time and others who return year after year. They heard that places like this are rare in the world, and treasured by people across Canada and far beyond our borders.

Above all, they heard that Canada’s Great Bear Sea is no place for oil tanker traffic – not now, not ever, and not at any price. All three of these notable Canadians are standing with WWF and Coastal First Nations to support our call for a sustainable future for ecosystems, for wildlife, and for people in this extraordinary place.

Join us. Become a Canadian for the Great Bear.  Together we can make this the best fish story ever.

Joseph Boyden (Scotiabank Giller prize winner):

Andrew Davidson (Sunburst Award winner)

Steven Galloway (Evergreen Award winner):