Home LATEST NEWS The “too” successful return of the sea otter

The “too” successful return of the sea otter


The question of the presence of otters resonates throughout British Columbia’s First Nations coastal communities. While some people in these communities see the return of the otter as a business opportunity to develop high-cost tourism, the question of the balance of resources worries regions where the otter has not yet returned.

This is the case of the Haida Gwaii islands in northwestern British Columbia, where residents are preparing for the natural return of the otter, because for now, the success of the reintroduction is limited around the island. of Vancouver.

A management committee has been set up between Parks Canada and the Haida Nation. This is a first in the country. We want to avoid what happened off Kyuquot, where 50 years ago no First Nations people were involved in the decision to reintroduce the otter.

We know that, from an ecosystem point of view, the return of otters is good news, says Lynn Lee, a biologist at Gwaii Haanas National Park in Haida Gwaii. But we have to assess how this return will have an impact on our communities and how to manage this return. And that, we cannot neglect it!

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The otter has been hunted, eradicated, reintroduced, and now its population is increasing rapidly. It is now part of the landscape, as before the arrival of Europeans 200 years ago.

It’s no longer the system we used to know where we thought it was normal without the sea otters. Now we see what is really normal, and it’s up to us to adapt., says Andrew Trites of the University of British Columbia.

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Fisheries and Oceans Canada biologist Linda Nichols has been doing otter population counts for more than 20 years.Photo: TurnedNews.com / Benoît Livernoche

They are a perfect example that proves that if we want to reintroduce animals and protect them, we can make these societal choices. Now we have to meet our own needs. And there, it is the complexity of the next chapter! »

A quote from Linda Nichols
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