Turbine Site Hydroid Survey- 2006

Chris Blondeau and Juan Carlos Yabar, did this survey to document the Invertebrates, particularly hydroids,sponges and colonial tunicates in the are where the turbine Piling was to be installed later in the year.

See other archived video with Pearson College Divers

Substrate analysis for the Tidal Energy Project

Chris Blondeau and Juan Carlos video the substrate at the site of the tidal energy piling installation. This is prior to the pile drilling operation for the Pearson College-ENCANA_Clean Current Demonstration Tidal Current Energy Project. They find bedrock in the area 30 cm under the surface at a depth of 24 meters of water.

See other archived video with Pearson College Divers

Invertebrate Scenes from the video:


Metridium anemone with hydrocoral




Cribrinopsis anemone and brooding anemones


Blood star and yellow sponge

generatorsLink to the Integrated Energy Project at Race Rocks

Webcasting Crew at Race Rocks for the Johan Ashvud RR’02 Project



Michael Kiprop Kenya (PC-2003)



Joe Downham UK (PC-2003)


Ben Dougall Australia (PC-2003)


Ryan Murphy Newfoundland & Labrador (PC-2001)

“We had a great time webcasting live from Race Rocks on Camera 4 during the first two weeks of June for the Johan Ashuvud Race Rocks02 Project”
Three current first year students from Pearson College and Ryan Murphy, who graduated last year stayed at the Marine Science Centre. Ryan is returning to Race Rocks this month to do research for Mt.Allison Univ. on the macroalgal community.

See one video on Pterygophora which was one part of his project here: They conducted daily live and prerecorded webcasts with Garry Fletcher from the intertidal and from underwater using camera 4.


Garry Fletcher Biology/Diving faculty

For one of the webcasts we were joined by Sean LeRoy, Graduate Researcher, Georgia Basin Futures Project Sustainable Development Research Institute, University of British Columbia and Dr.James Tansey also of UBC. They came to participate in the webcast with Garry and Ryan on Marine Protected Areas in new Zealand and Canada with Tim Langlois, Leigh Marine Laboratory University of Auckland, and Anne Saloman, University of Washington, Zoology Department.

On three days we hosted small groups of students from local elementary schools who served as proxies in webcasts done for their classmates.

Support for the Race Rocks 02 Project came from the Johan Ashuvud Race Rocks Memorial Fund
Below are some of the Videos produced by the crew during the week.

benframes kids octopuss
Ben’s movie put together during the week. June 2002 field trip: for a live webcast with the crew, of the grade six students from West-Mont school . One morning we found the body of an octopus washed up in the intertidal zone. An impromptu dissection led to this video.

Chlamys hastata: Swimming scallop


This image of the scallop with very bright eyes was taken by Adam Harding on a dive in June 2010

The swimming scallop is closely related to clams, oysters and cockles. Unlike some of its relatives, the swimming scallop is not sessile. The ribs of the swimming scallop are rendered rasplike by the presence of curved spines. The shell can grow up to 5 – 6 cm in height. They have beautiful, green iridescent and almost luminous eyes called ocelli that are found around the edge of the mantle in both valves. The ocelli are sensitive to light intensity and are rather complicated but do not form images. They also have sensitive tentacles that project out of the edge of the mantle.

They are usually found in subtidal areas and sometimes in shallow water. They live at depths ranging from 2 – 150 m.

Swimming scallops normally lie with their right valves against the substratum, and they may be attached periodically when they are younger by means of a byssus, a fine elastic fibre as in that secreted by mussels. Scallops are free spawning organisms. Reproduction is done through the release of sperm by males and eggs by females into the water.

Swimming scallops are filter feeders. They feed with the shell agape as it the picture above.They process water, using their ctenidia (or gills) to collect microscopic food and Oxygen from the water.

Sometimes spontaneously, and just about always when menaced by a predator, such as certain sea stars (Pisaster and Pycnopodia). They swim by a sort of jet propulsion, clapping the valves together and forcing water out through openings on both sides of the hinge. This shows in the video when the Pycnopodia is brought close to the scallop. The scallop senses the pycnopodia by a chemical sensor. The swimming scallop also swims away when there is a change in environmental conditions.

Swimming scallops are usually colonized by sponges, mostly on the left valve, that form thick coatings. The sponges provide camouflage for the scallop as well as defense against predators. The sponge’s porous nature hinders potential predators, such as sea stars from getting a good grip on the scallop, and they may also provide a repulsive chemical odor. This shows biological mutualism, where both organisms benefit in the symbiosis.


Kozloff, E. N. Seashore Life of the Northern Pacific Coast .4th Edition (1996). University of Washington Press. 539 pages.

Kozloff, E. N. Marine Invertebrates of the Pacific Northwest. (1996). University of Washington Press. 370 pages.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Mollusca
Class Bivalvia
Order Ostreoida
Sub Order Pectinina
Family Pectinidae
Genus Chlamys
Species hastata
Common Name: Swimming Scallop

Other Members of the Phylum Mollusca at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

Victoriano de Jesus PC year 28

Haliotis kamtschatkana: Northern Abalone–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

Cryptic Coloration of Abalone
Associated organisms with abalone.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Mollusca
Class Gastropoda
Subclass Prosobranchia
Order Archaeogastropoda
Suborder Pleurotomariina
Family Haliotidae
Genus Haliotis
Species kamtschatkana
Common Name: Northern Abalone

Paulina and the PC Divers go in search of abalone for our population tagging program. The opportunity arises to demonstrate the escape response of the Northern Abalone, when it is presented with a Pycnopodia, the giant sunflower star.

Scott Wallace did research in 1997 and 1998 at Race Rocks with Pearson College divers. He studied the population dynamics of the Northern Abalone, Haliotis kamtchatkana. His research was done as part of a PhD thesis in Resource Management from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In May of 2000, he returned to Race Rocks for a dive with Garry and Hana and an interview with Stephanie Paine and Director Julia Nunes for the Discovery Channel. In this video he demonstrates the measurement technique he used in his research

Link to Abstract of Scott’s Paper
Wallace, Scott, S. 1999, Evaluating the Effects of Three Forms of Marine Reserve on Northern Abalone Populations in British Columbia, Canada. Conservation Biology, Vol 13 No 4, August, 1999, pages 882-887.
An article by Scott Wallace:
Out of Sight, Out of Mind, and Almost out of Time http://www.racerocks.com/racerock/admin/MPA/mpa.pdf




n 1998, we began a long term research program, initiated by Dr. Scott Wallace, on the population dynamics of the Northern Abalone
(Haliotis kamtschatkana).

For several years, the Pearson College divers monitored the population. In this video, Pearson College graduate Jim Palardy (PC yr.25) explains the process.

Carmen Braden and Garry find a Northern Abalone exposed at low tide in June in the intertidal zone of the east side of Race Rocks. They talk about its adaptations and the problem of overharvesting which has resulted in the endangered status.

This abalone was filmed by Felix Chow as it was rasping off diatoms from the glass wall of the aquarium. A small tongue or radula scrapes the algae from the walls.

General information:

Northern or Pinto abalones (Haliotis kamtschatkana) belong to the class of mollusks having a shell that consists of one piece. The genus they belong to is Haliotis, which means “sea ear” and refers to the flattened shape of the shell.


Pintos are the smallest abalones and they are commonly about 4 inches long, however the biggest individuals can grow as big as 6 inches long (12 cm). The shell is oval or rounded with a large dome towards one end; it is also irregularly mottled and narrow. The colour of the shell exterior is mottled greenish brown with scattered white and blue. The shell has a row of respiratory pores through which the abalone takes in water and filters dissolved oxygen from the surrounding water with its gills. Water that passes through the body leaves through the respiratory holes carrying away waster from the digestive system. Pinto abalones have from 3 to 6 open holes in their shells. The shape of these respiratory holes is oval and they are raised. The colour of the pinto abalones’ epipodium is mottled greenish tan or brown. The tentacles are thin and the colour of them can vary from yellowish brown to green. Abalones’ muscular foot has a strong suction power that permits the abalone to clamp tightly to rocky surfaces.


Pinto abalones have definite preferences in locations and habits. Pinto abalones range from Sit ka, Alaska to Monterey, California. The only member of the genus is likely to be found in the Puget Sound region., on the open coast of Vancouver Island and Washington. Farther south pinto abalones become strictly sub tidal. Pinto abalones can be found clinging to rocks in kelp beds along open coastal environments that have a good water circulation. Their habitat is between the low inter tidal zone and sub tidally down to 70 feet (18 meters depth).

Life cycle:

The life cycle of an abalone begins from an egg. Abalone female releases millions of eggs, but only about 1% (or even less) of the offspring survive the many challenges they have to face before maturity. The eggs turn into a free living larva and then after drifting with the currents about a week the abalone larva settles to the bottom and begins to develop the adult shell form.


Abalone have many predators. They get eaten by other animals (crabs, lobsters, octopuses, starfish, fish and snails) and crushed to the rocks by strong waves. The sea otter was traditionally one of the most significant predators of abalones, although they have not yet moved into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, from the re-introduction several years ago to northern Vancouver Island.


Pinto abalones, as all abalones, are herbivores. They use their large, rough radulas (“tongues”) to scrape pieces of algae and other plant material from the rock surfaces. The adult abalone feeds on loose pieces of algae drifting in water. Abalones prefer large brown algae; mainly different kind of kelps and seaweed. The colour banding on many abalone shells is caused by the changes in the type of algae that the abalone has eaten.


Pinto abalones used to be subject to sports and commercial fishery . They suffered from over harvesting and habitat loss and poaching. There is now a permanent closure on all abalone fishing on the B.C. Coast. For the Pacific North West Coast First Nations People, the beautiful shells of abalone were used for jewelry and abalone also were a seafood delicacy. They occur sub tidally and only in remote areas.

See the Abalone measurement and statistics exercise at RaceRocks:

See our abalone exercise for middle school.

References Cited:

Kozloff, Eugene N., Marine Invertebrates of the Pacific Northwest, University of Washington Press, Seattle and London, 1996.

Kozloff, Eugene N., Seashore life of the Northern Pacific Coast, University of Washington Press, Seattle and London, 1996.

Meglitsch, Paul A., Invertebrate Zoology; second edition, Oxford University Press, 1972.

Snively, Gloria, Exploring the Seashore in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, Gordon Soules Book Publishers Ltd., Vancouver/London, 1981.

http://www.pacificbio.org/ESIN/OtherInvertebrates/NorthernAbalone/NorthernAbalone_pg.html ( available at this URL in 20101)


Other Members of the Phylum Mollusca at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams. Salla Vornanen, PC yr 27


Ryan Murphy films underwater at West Race Rocks

This video was shot by the team of Pearson College divers while practicing for the live webcast for the QuickTime Live Conference in California- Oct 2000 .

On the 4th of October, a 5 member diving team brought the camera to West Race Rock to film the marine life there. Along with Red Sea Urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus), Plumose Anemones (Metridium farcimen), and a Tiger Rockfish (Sebastes nigrocinctus) was a large school of Black Rockfish (Sebastes melanops). The camera crew for the dive was J.O. Dalphond, Hana Boye, and myself. Organism identification responsibility falls on me. Hinted streaming video time is 3 minutes 22 secs
My name is Ryan Murphy and I am a Year 26 Pearson Student from Newfoundland. I am doing the editing on this movie. I’m the diver with the blue snorkel signalling “OK” at the beginning. Garry, our Guru, is showing me how to do this in iMovie as this is my first movie, I hope you enjoy it.

Live Transmission to the Internet from Underwater-2000

n June 2000, Lester B. Pearson College divers stayed at Race Rocks for two weeks, for the Johan Ashuvud Week doing live underwater transmissions to the internet. This video is a sample of scenes from the live webcast. It shows some of the colourful invertebrate life at 8 meters depth, on the north side of Great Race.

See http://www.racerocks.ca/the-johan-ashuvud-project-2000/

Scott Wallace: Research on Abalone in BC Reserves.

Scott Wallace did research in 1997 and 1998 at Race Rocks with Pearson College divers. He studied the population dynamics of the Northern Abalone,Haliotis kamtchatkana. His research was done as part of a PhD thesis in Resource Management from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Wallace, S. S. 1999. Fisheries Impacts on Marine Ecosystems and Biological Diversity:
The role for marine protected areas in British Columbia. Ph.D. Dissertation. The University of British Columbia. Pp. 198.

Wallace, Scott, S. 1999, Evaluating the Effects of Three Forms of Marine Reserve on Northern Abalone Populations in British Columbia, Canada.

graphsizedistribConservation Biology, Vol 13 No 4, August, 1999, pages 882-887.

ABSTRACT: :Marine reserves have been suggested as tools for assisting the management of fisheries by protecting vulnerable marine species from overexploitation. Although there is a theoretical basis for believing that marine reserves may serve as management tools, there are few marine reserves in the world in which to test their effectiveness. My research evaluated three forms of marine reserve on the south coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. I used northern abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana), a severely depleted shellfish in this region, as an indicator of the effectiveness of the reserves. Abalone populations in eight sites receiving different degrees of spatial protection were counted and measured in situ during the spring of 1996 and 1997. In all sites with enforced harvest closures, populations of abalone were greater, and one site with nearly 40 years of protection had on average much larger (older) abalone. Reproductive output, as a function of abundance and size, was also greater in the enforced reserve areas. Larval dispersal from reserves, and hence the benefit to exploited areas, was not formally surveyed. Nevertheless, the results of my study, combined with knowledge of present abalone populations, life history, and regional hydrodynamics, suggest that establishment of reserves is justified in the absence of perfect knowledge of larval dispersal. (Link to fulll article)

See the Abalone taxonomy file for videos of Scott’s work.