Restoration Project

Parks Canada - Haida Gwaii

Restoration Objective:

Researchers aimed to restore kelps to enhance the marine health of local kelp forests, and in turn provide kelp habitat for a range of ecologically, culturally and economically important species such as abalone, rockfish, otters etc. Larger kelp forests also benefit coastal communities by increasing coastal productivity, supporting ecologically sustainable use.

Site Selection Criteria:

A rocky reef site was selected that was known to be important to endangered northern abalone. It was also a site where successful terrestrial habitat restoration had occurred.

Cause Of Decline:

Overgrazing by red, green and purple urchins has resulted in declines in Macrocystis cover at Haida Gwaii.

Key Reasons For Decline:


Scientific Paper

Personal Communications.. personal communications.

L. Lee, .


Parks Canada

Site Observations:

Observation Date

15th Sep 2018 – 12th May 2020

Action Summary:

75%-95% of red, green and purple urchins were fished or crushed along a 3km stretch of rocky reef from 0-50ft chart datum in Gwaii Haanas. Removal and crushing of urchins was undertaken at the restoration site by Haida Fisheries Program divers and red sea urchin commercial fishery divers.

Lessons Learned:

This project worked successfully with urchin fishers, researchers and indigenous owners to remove urchins and stimulate kelp regeneration.

Project Outcomes:

In the year following restoration activities, researchers observed increased kelp stipe density and continued low urchin densities. The project and monitoring will continue over summer/autumn 2021.

Key Reasons For Decline:


Area of Restoration (In Square Metres)


Indicator Data:


Ending Value:

Starting Value:

Adult Kelp Density

/ m2
/ m2
Cost Currency:USD
Total Cost:2,950,000