An ‘oasis’ of 20,000 intrigues under the sea
Newly designated marine protected area, west of Queen Charlotte Islands, is ‘just full of life,’ lucky diver finds
MARK HUME, Globe and Mail, April 22, 2008 at 4:30 AM EDT
VANCOUVER — A jagged volcanic island that sank below the ocean off the West Coast around 15,000 years ago has been added to Canada’s growing network of marine protected areas.
The Bowie Seamount, which has been called an “oceanic oasis” because of its rich marine life, jutted above the surface during the last ice age, but now lies 24 metres below the surface of the Pacific, 180 kilometres west of the Queen Charlotte Islands.
The pinnacles of the seamount, which are made of fragile volcanic rock, are richly carpeted with red and green seaweed and coral. There are dense schools of more than 20 species of brightly coloured rockfish living among the crevices, while passing species include dolphins, seals, Steller sea lions and several species of whales. More…