From a humble beginning as a homestead, Salmon Coast has grown into a world-class research facility through the support of many partners and friends. Officially opening in 2006, Salmon Coast maintains the community-focused, conservation research that prompted its establishment.
Salmon Coast Field Station was originally home to biologist Alexandra Morton, who moved to the region to study orcas. After an influx of fish farms to the archipelago, Morton noticed her beloved orcas had abandoned the area, never to return. In addition to the orcas vacating the area, toxic algae blooms had increased, and sea lice (salmon parasites) had increased drastically on wild juvenile salmon. Concerned about the impact of fish farms on local ecosystems, Morton began to invite graduate students into her home to gather information and raise awareness about the lice epidemic on wild salmon. Since then, researchers and students from all over continue to visit the Broughton to further understand the impacts salmon farms have on local ecosystems and communities.
Salmon Coast was officially established in 2006 when Morton joined forces with a dynamic conservationist Sarah Haney, founder of the Canadian Whale Institute, and her partner Alan Calderwood. Together, they formed the Salmon Coast Field Station to help protect the ecology and communities of the Broughton by providing a base for innovative and independent scientific research. Since then our team has grown to include academics and conservationists from around the world. Thanks in part to the ground-breaking research being conducted at Salmon Coast, the aquaculture industry adopted control measures, and sea louse-induced declines in wild pink and coho salmon populations have been reversed.