Sockeye Salmon © Morgan Hocking
MARINE LIFE SPOTLIGHT: Salmon
Salmon are a vital key to the Great Bear Rainforest ecosystem, where more than 2,500 salmon runs happen each year. A wide range of plants and animals, as well as humans, benefit from consuming salmon, including killer whales, sharks, sea lions, seals, otters, bears, loons, mergansers, heron and kingfishers. Insects, algae, mosses, terrestrial herbs, shrubs and ancient trees also benefit from marine based nutrients, including nitrogen from salmon.
Some coastal animals synchronize their high-energy demands with the arrival of the spawning salmon. Reproduction is delayed among minks, for example, so the burden of nursing their young is timed during the salmon-spawning season. The story of salmon and its essential link to the rich diversity of marine life that thrives in the rainforest coastal, nearshore and offshore waters helps us to understand the value of this unique place.
Did you know?
Download the free Central Coast Biodiversity app to learn about more than 210 plants, 80 birds, 190 marine invertebrates, 50 fish, 20 mammals and reptiles, and 120 different kinds of seaweed.