Shooting wildlife with cameras, not guns: the new conservation economy

Ocean Light Adventures have turned a commercial trophy hunting boat into a wildlife watching vessel.

Almost a year ago today, after the tragic loss of our vessel, Ocean Light II, to fire, we began our search for a new vessel that we could use to continue our long history in adventure tourism on the BC Coast. Following a lead, we stepped on board a cold and dirty power boat, fit with storage for guns and wildlife taken for trophy, to investigate its potential. 

The boat was built fifty years ago in Steveston BC, for guide outfitting (trophy hunting) in what is now known as the Southern Great Bear Rainforest Tenure

Inspired by Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s 16 year campaign to stop commercial trophy hunting by purchasing the hunting tenures, we embraced the idea of giving the boat a new purpose and focus. The boat had a workable layout, a seaworthy design and a solid structure, but we knew it was going to need an immense amount of work to modernize the interior and bring it up to the newest Transport Canada standards.

Flybridge of a boat.
Before the refit.
Flybridge of a boat.
After the refit.

We wondered if we were taking on an almost impossible task

We had taken 25 years to craft the Ocean Light II into our perfect charter vessel and now we were attempting to create a new perfect charter vessel in less than a year! Although the project was daunting, especially with extremely tight timelines and covid-19 restrictions, the vessel’s long history was the deciding factor to go ahead with the purchase. 

We took possession of the boat in late January 2021 and immediately began our refit. We stripped it down to bare bones and then slowly put it back together. 

Today, as we put the finishing touches on Afterglow I and proudly hold our Transport Canada certificate, we can also celebrate the recent announcement that Raincoast has started the process of buying the Southern Great Bear Rainforest tenure, already having raised $183,133, 10% of their goal! 

Eliminating commercial trophy hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest will give us and our guests on the Afterglow I the chance to enjoy thriving, healthy ecosystems and we are proud of the small role we played in making this happen. 

Bow of a boat.
Before the refit.
Bow of a boat.
After the refit.

Become a Raincoaster

Monthly giving enables you to protect what you love. For 25 years, Raincoast has been furthering biodiversity conservation in BC. We have big plans and with your help we will: 

  • End commercial trophy hunting of large carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest.
  • Acquire land in order to protect threatened Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems.
  • Support the recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales by restoring Chinook salmon habitat, and so much more.
Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
Chris Genovali, Executive Director

Protecting biodiversity is the most important gift we can give the next generation. Join us as a Raincoaster today!