Photo credit M. Stokesbury: Bluefin tuna swimming off Nova Scotia. 


Comox Valley Nature is pleased to host a public lecture. Join Dr. John Neilson for an illustrated talk entitled: “The really, really big marine fish of Canada: tuna, swordfish and sharks”. The lecture is on Sunday, January 20th, 2019 and will start after introductions at 7 pm in the Rotary Room of the Filberg Seniors Centre at 411 Anderton Ave in Courtenay.

Canada’s oceans are home to many of the largest and most fascinating fish species on earth.  The world record bluefin tuna was caught in Canadian waters, and 1000 pounders are still caught with some regularity.  Swordfish are also caught, often in a harpoon fishery that Ernest Hemingway would have appreciated. Canada is also home to some iconic shark species, including Greenland shark in Arctic waters, thought by some to be the longest-lived vertebrate in the world. In the Canadian Pacific Ocean, the magnificent basking shark is now on the brink of extinction after misguided attempts to eradicate them.  John Neilson will provide an overview of the status of selected large fish species in all three of Canada’s oceans.

John Neilson holds a Ph.D. in fisheries science from Simon Fraser University, and has had a thirty year long career with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.  During the last part of his DFO career, Dr. Neilson headed the large pelagics program on the Atlantic Coast.  Currently, he is a Co-Chair of the Marine Fish Specialists Subcommittee of COSEWIC, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. 

This is an excellent opportunity for the public to learn more about the large marine fish of Canada and their management.

Comox Valley Nature is a non-profit society affiliated with BC Nature, consisting only of unpaid volunteers. CVN fulfills its educational mandate by hosting monthly lectures, organizing free weekly guided hikes for members, and a free monthly walk open to the public.  Comox Valley Nature also supports specialized groups (Birding, Botany, Marine & Shoreline, Conservation, Garry Oak Restoration, Wetland Restoration, Photography and Young Naturalists Club) which have separate monthly activities.  Membership in BC Nature and Comox Valley Nature is $30 per adult and $40 for a family.

Founded in 1966, it is one of the oldest environmental societies on the North Island.  Meetings and lectures of the Comox Valley Naturalists Society are held on the third Sunday of most months at the Florence Filberg Centre, 411 Anderton Ave., Courtenay.  Meetings and guided walks are open to the public, including children and youth.  Lecture is free, though a $4 contribution from non-members is appreciated. New memberships are always welcomed.

Anyone interested in this lecture or participating in CVNS activities can also contact us at the website  


David Innes

Vice President, Comox Valley Nature