Walk on any west coast beach and you will come across dead bull kelp that have washed ashore. With their slender ‘bull-whip’ stipe capped by a large bulb and blades of hair-like kelp, they are irresistible to children who love to drag, swing and whip them around. Bull kelp die and regenerate annually, which leads to their abundance on beaches. They have an incredible growth rate of up to two feet per day! Like forests on land, bull kelp forests provide a biosphere for a multitude of creatures. But unlike the simple cause and effect of humans logging forests, our effect on kelp forest ecosystems is complex. Sea otter populations were decimated in the 1800’s by fur traders, and further reduced by commercial fishermen competing for limited fish stocks. The sea otter is a key predator of the spiny sea urchin. Bull kelp is then eaten by the unchecked population of urchins. This unbalanced scenario has played out in the waters surrounding the islands of Haida Gwaii. Waters that have no sea otters, resulting in a barren ocean floor covered in urchins.
Trucker: black brim - black mesh - snapback - one size fits all