Regional Profile: Sointula

Will Soltau, Living Oceans Society and CAAR

Community Area:

East side of Vancouver Island and mainland from Sayward to Cape Caution, including the Broughton Archipelago. Will also covers the west side of Vancouver Island from Nootka Sound North.

Coast Mobilization Team Member Profile:

Will Soltau, Local Coordinator, Living Oceans Society & CAAR, Salmon Farming Campaign.

Will lives in Sointula, BC and is actively involved in local wild salmon enhancement projects around northern Vancouver Island. Will worked as a commercial fisherman for more than 30 years all over the coast of BC and Southeast Alaska. During that time he represented commercial fishing interests at various government-led processes on salmon farming and also at fisheries co-management tables. You can reach Will in the LOS Sointula office at (250) 973-6580 or by email, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am-4:30pm.

Current Issues, Projects and Programs In the Region:

Recently Will has been working with tourism business owners in Northern Vancouver Island area. Together they hope to demonstrate the urgent need to conserve the remaining pink salmon in the Broughton. They have been getting the message out to government and the public that wild salmon are important to the entire ecosystem and also to those businesses that depend on that healthy ecosystem.

Recently, Will teamed up with a group of concerned local citizens who wanted to raise public awareness over the destructive effects of sea lice on wild juvenile salmon. The community event included a public information display on sea lice research in the Broughton Archipelago with videos and presentations from researchers, a “salmon run” run where participants had the experience of being wild juvenile salmon as they migrated from their birth streams to the open ocean, picking up sea lice along the way. The run was followed by a wild seafood barbeque for all who attended.

In 2008, Will and Michelle Young, the Georgia Strait Alliance Coast Mobilization Team member from Nanaimo, conducted a traveling public presentation on closed containment technology. The Coast Mobilization Team briefed local government, community groups, and business organizations in the region to build support for this emerging, solutions-focused technology.

Will is also currently working on gathering and recording information on local salmon farming activities and practices (marine debris), investigating reports of infractions and accidents and documenting environmental abuses.