The richness of the marine species of this huge country is impressive and excellent for those who practice diving in Canada. In British Columbia, to the south west, you can find fishes such as the salmon, pike, perch and Umbrian. Diving in Canada waters can be a unique experience, with a fauna that is very difficult to see in other parts of the world.
Canada is the second biggest country in all the world after Russia, according to its terrestrial surface of 9,984,670 km2 and it occupies the north part of North America. It extends from the east to the west from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and towards the north until the Arctic Ocean, where its motto is “A mari usquead mare” (from one ocean to other one). It shares terrestrial borders with the United States of America to the South and Northwest (Alaska). The country is a federation composed by ten provinces and three territories.
The winter can be hard in some parts of the country with temperatures around the -15°C in the south zone, but it is possible to reach temperatures of -45°C with ice and strong winds. And about the summer, the temperatures can reach the 35°C or even 40°C, with humidity. The coldest temperature that is recorded in Canada is -63°C in the city of Yukon.
Canada has a program to protect all the nature and the Canadian are very worry for the impact that cause the human been in it. For this reason you can enjoy of a great place to dive with crystal waters, very clean and sweet surrounded by an abundant and interesting vegetation.
Some of the species that you will find in Canada
In the Atlantic you can find the cod, mackerel, swordfish and especially the giant tuna. The Atlantic salmon, musk fish, bass, perch and pickerel are seen, while the spectacle of large cetaceans surprises everyone.
During the summer you can see the white whales that arrived to the Terranova Bay, to Undon, or the coast of British Columbia. In the spring gray whales travel the West Coast to emigrate from Mexico to Alaska.
Let's visit the orcas
In Vancouver the Fraser River pours each year 20 million tons nutritious ocean sediments, feeding a huge marine biodiversity. Tens of thousands of salmon come to the "banquet" and, incidentally, re-traced the rivers each year, attracting the orca whales.
As to the orcas, they can be seen on the surface and during the diving as well, around the British Columbia area, where you can see three types of this beautiful aniaml; residents, transitory and offshore. Their biological and ecological characteristics are quite different, to the point where their food is very different as well.
The residents orcas eat salmon, transitional orcas typically hunt other mammals such as seals and porpoises, and offshore orcas hunt large fish and even sharks. The resident orcas communities of the south offer a great show during all the year over the water surface an under the water. Especially, they are more frequent in the summer and at the beginning of the autumn, which is the season when salmons begin their comeback in rivers.
And also seals, sea lions, whales...
In other hand, there are seals that are the most common marine animals in the coasts and in the Vancouver water. It is a great experience to dive in the vicinity where they live and swim to eat.
We can see also sea lions from Steller, sea lions from the Californian sea, that reproduce themselves in the coast of this state to migrate later toward the British Columbia coasts. And about the porpoises, we can say they are shy animals and very difficult to approach.
The majestic gray whales often swim in shallow coastal waters to the north of the Canadian Pacific, so that, diving with them constitutes a truly unforgettable experience. These ocean giants undertake one of the longest migrations of all the mammals in the world (including land) from the Mexican lagoons to Alaska.
Regarding the splendid humpback whale we can say they are increasingly common, fortunately, on the coast of British Columbia.
In the other hand we can say that the dolphins are more common in the Canada.
In the coastal waters of Campbell River, divers and underwater photographers can be delighted with spectacular pink-strawberry anemones, giving the ocean floor an incredible variety of reddish tones. In this paradisiac scenery live the marine worm, the wolf hedgehogs, yellow sponges, scullpins, crabs and the giant Pacific octopus. These octopuses are strong and sometimes unpredictable so care must be taken when diving around them.
In the coastal waters of Canada live all kind of strange and beautiful crustaceans and mollusks in a surprising diversity and a huge crowd of curious fish, gifted with a peculiar fins.
The territory is bounded by three oceans: the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Artic, and it is gifted for the sweetest water system of the world, you can imagine the big diversity of marine life in their waters that is a truly “party” for the divers.
There are more than 160 fish species, mollusks and crustaceans that inhabit the cold and clean waters. Salmon (that live both in the oceans and rivers), mussels, clams, grouper, oysters, salmon, cod and halibut, are the enjoyment of divers.
The black cod and geoduck, stand out among the species just mentioned. You will note that were recently discovered new marine species in Canadian waters. Thanks to sophisticated underwater cameras attached to robotic arms, photography’s and video were collected of these species that live on the coast of Newfoundland, with tulip-shaped sponges and corals in a variety of bright colors.
You can see here as well big variety of small and very peculiar species and other creatures capable to live 3.000 meters deep. It's been found as well six new types of sponges and two new types of corals.
It is very amazing the fact that the coastal waters of Canada you may dive with coral over a thousand years old, which is a unique experience (a kind of “time travel”) for divers.
And talking again specifically about Vancouver we can say that during the month of March, every year, around 20.000 grey sharks travel from Baja California to Alaska, offering one of the best spectacles in all the oceans of the world. These whales, in company of other cetaceans get closer to the bay, where you can see their blows, and for the divers who like offshore experiences is truly magical. In British Columbia, the wildest state of Canada, we can see the submarine Kelp forests that are the home for all kind of ocean mammals. After dazzling night dives, divers are greeted at the shore by beautiful native deer herds.
Continuing with the splendid marine life of Vancouver we can say that further the marine creatures before mentioned, you can see as well dolphins, baleen baleen whales and the minke whale.
The herrings, often seen by the divers, are the food source for the colossal humpback whale migration. Those who migrate in other directions feeding on krill.
Scuba diving Canadian lakes
The Canadian Lakes are known worldwide to wreck diving fans. Historically The Great Lakes Region is a marine trade route, thus a lot of sunken ships became attractive destinations for curious divers. Big and small ships with different histories and different age can be found at the bottom of lakes such as Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and Lake Michigan. Some of them are very deep, and require good diving skills. Some are fun to see at a beginner level. Different attributes can be found in the wrecks, some show signs of burning, or some ships have remained quite intact. Most of them also attract various marine or fresh water habitants. Kingston Reef, a known place to dive on Lake Ontario, has a lot of nice wrecks including the so called “graveyard” of very old sunken ships.