Howe Sound Research and Conservation

Scuba Dive BC with Sea Dragon Charters #scubadiveBC

Get Involved and Support your Oceans!


The team at Sea Dragon understands the value of conserving and protecting Howe Sound’s delicate marine life and underwater habitats. We regularly volunteer our time and services to some exiting marine studies and conservation programs.

Here are some significant projects you can also get involved with:


Annapolis Biodiversity Index Study (A.B.I.S.) – Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Aquarium is asking divers to share their pictures and videos to help with the Annapolis Biodiversity Index Study – A.B.I.S. The study is expected to run for five years, allowing for a fantastic and continuing opportunity for diver involvement in the program. The Aquarium is looking for any photos and video of the Annapolis. This is a fantastic opportunity to help support a citizen science project, and monitor the reef.

Head to the A.B.I.S. Study to get started.



Diving Glass Sponge Reefs and Gardens – Vancouver Aquarium

“Glass sponge reefs are unlike anything else in the world. These fragile bioherms can reach 14 metres in height and cover a square kilometre, providing an important habitat for the fish that live in them. Until about 25 years ago, people believed that glass sponge reefs had gone extinct during the Jurassic period, but then they were discovered living in very deep water in Hecate Strait in northern British Columbia.”

Did you know? Early in 2016, a rare glass sponge reef as old as the dinosaurs was discovered in Prince Rupert. A globally significant treasure in British Columbia!

This study needs your help to collect important visual data on the sponge bioherms. Plan your dive to include a swim around the sponge garden research markers and capture videos or photos, then submit your data online.

Check out these Sponge Diving Tips or Submit your Data

Still wondering What is a Glass Sponge?



UBC Mooring Buoy Study – The Underwater Council of BC

Adopt-A-Mooring-Buoy is a UBC Stewardship Project aimed at utilizing mooring buoys to protect local reefs from anchor damage. This unique project by UBC is looking for overseers who will volunteer and ensure their adopted buoy is in top condition. This includes descending on the line, checking corrosion and connection, and removing growth.

The buoys are located at Bowyer Island North Reef, Bowyer Island South Reef, Christie Islet South East Reef and Brigade Bay.

Here’s some BC Buoy Study History

Navigate here for Information or to Volunteer



Project Baseline on HMCS Annapolis – GUE BC

“Halkett bay was identified as being a perfect candidate for an artificial reef because of the extensive damage done to the marine ecosystem by the logging industry. During storms logs would be stored inside the bay while they waited for calmer waters. Because of this the floor of the bay is a barren wasteland from the floating logs blocking out sunlight as well as bark blanketing the seabed. As part of this project baseline we intend to provide documented evidence demonstrating that artificial reefs are positive or negative additions to the oceans.”

Project Baseline will monitor 2 stations on the HMCS Annapolis. Station A to be placed on the outer bridge of Annapolis, on the hanger deck. Station B is to be located on the starboard sea floor between the ship and shoreline. Station B will be connected to the ship with a mainline for easy location.

Read more about Project Baseline in Halkett Bay.

Learn about Project Baseline in BC.



Ling Cod Egg Mass Survey – Vancouver Aquarium 

“By taking part in the Annual Lingcod Egg Mass Survey, you are helping to gather important information about a valuable local resource. We should be very concerned when a stock has reached 3-5 percent of what it was a century ago. Divers participating in this annual survey collect information on the number, size, condition, and position of egg masses, as well as whether or not a guarding male is present. Data such as these help us determine the health of local lingcod populations.”

Calling all divers! Get Involved

Download the Instruction Package and read it before heading out on your dives.

If you have any questions about this study, please email



The Howe Sound Research and Conservation Group – Vancouver Aquarium

The HSRCG’s goals are to enhance and protect the marine life residing in Howe Sound. Howe Sound is one of North America’s Southern most fjords and it contains over 650 species of fish and invertebrates residing in its waters. The HSRCG operate with a continuous field presence and spearhead many fish research programs including long term monitoring of boot and cloud sponges, re-introduction of black rockfish, lingcod spawning counts, surveys on juvenile spot prawns, monitoring pollution and mining impact, and efforts to photo-document the nature of Howe Sound’s waterways and habitats.

Looking for more Howe Sound Research and Conservation Programs?

Join the Howe Sound Research and Conservation Group



Sightings: Six Gill Sharks in Howe Sound – Vancouver Aquarium

Records of Six Gill Sharks have been kept from 1964 onwards by the Howe Sound Research Program. They have been seen as far north as Bowyer Island, most recently in Whytecliff Park by scuba divers! If you have seen one of these elusive sharks in Howe Sound, please report your sighting!

Have you seen one? Report your Sighting

Read More…



Sightings: Wild Whales – BC Cetacean Sightings Network

Wild Whales is a program by the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network. It is a conservation and research program in partnership with the Vancouver Aquarium and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Wild Whales aims to collect sightings of all cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) as well as sea turtles from British Columbia and surrounding waters. This information is used in monitoring species distribution and future management (recovery) of each species.  If you live in BC, and spend time on the water, get involved and report your valuable sightings.

Have you seen one? Report your Sighting

Read More…



More Resources:


Dive Industry Association of British Columbia 

Underwater Council of British Columbia

Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia

Marine Life Sanctuary Society

The Future of Howe Sound Society

Coastal Ocean Research Institute

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Marine