The following list of marine species includes some of the 'key' species that can be found within the Capital Regional District. This is by no means an exhaustive list.


Despite its name and appearance, eelgrass is neither a seaweed nor a grass. It is a perennial flowering plant that lives in salt water and has dark green, ribbon-like leaves.


Kelp is a type of marine brown algae. Though often brown, kelp can range in colour from golden, through olive green, to purplish.

Sea Lettuce

Sea lettuce is a beautiful light- to emerald-green seaweed with delicate, transluscent leaves.

Native Dunegrass

Native dunegrass is a type of large grass that normally grows on sand and gravel beaches.

Pacific Herring

Pacific herring is a small fish with iridescent silver-white sides and a blue-green back or dorsal surface.

Cutthroat Trout

Cutthroat trout are salmonids, and are classified in the same genus as Pacific salmon.

Pacific Salmon

The salmon is among the most revered of coastal animals, for its cultural and spiritual importance to First Nations, its world-famous tasty flesh, and its role in the historical economy of BC.

Olympia Oysters

The Olympia oyster, also known as the native oyster, is the only species of oyster native to British Columbia.


Some crabs are commercially important as a human food source, others are both predators and prey in marine food webs.

Rocky Subtidal Benthic Communities

These communities are groups of plants and animals that inhabit rocky areas of the ocean floor in the subtidal zone.

Harbour Seals

Harbour seals are found throughout the world’s oceans, and five subspecies are currently recognized.


There are two distinct species of otters in BC: river otters and sea otters.

Sea & Shore Birds

Seabirds generally live, feed and breed either partially or wholly at sea. Shorebirds often feed and migrate along shorelines, but also live in inland areas such as wetlands, lakes and tundra. Waterfowl have strong, scaly legs and webbed feet, and live and feed in fresh and/or salt water.

Emergency Contacts

Emergency Management of BC 1.800.663.3456
Report a Spill

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