Raincoast’s research vessel, SV Achiever, is a Transport Canada certified 68 ft. steel hulled sloop that offers education, research and engagement opportunities on the BC coast year round. Raincoast acquired Achiever in 2003 as a vessel for our 10,000 nautical mile marine survey studying the abundance and distribution of marine mammals and birds.
Since then, Raincoast has; partnered with Indigenous Nations to facilitate youth getting outdoor education within their territories, worked with researchers from various institutions, taken school groups onto the water for experiential learning, as well as worked with film crews documenting the coast’s natural history and threats to the region.
Education and outreach
Achiever has been involved with youth camps up and down the coast of British Columbia for over 10 years, supporting initiatives like Koeye Camp, a Heiltsuk youth science and cultural camp and through our own Salish Sea Emerging Stewards Program. The decks and wheelhouse turn into a floating classroom educating and inspiring the young leaders of tomorrow. With the collaboration of Raincoast scientists and traditional knowledge holders, youth are exposed to a new and innovative approach to education.
Achiever can be fit to provide observation platforms, oceanographic equipment, freezer space, spill monitoring kits, and other research-specific requirements. In addition to supporting our own objectives, Achiever has also supported research programs for DFO’s Cetacean Research Program, BC universities (SFU & UBC), Hakai Institute, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service
Safeguarding coastal carnivores
Working with Coastal First Nations, one of Raincoast’s goals is to permanently end commercial trophy hunting of all large carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest. We do this by purchasing commercial trophy hunting tenures. Each year, Achiever visits the estuaries and watersheds throughout our tenures, often with those donors who made the tenure acquisitions possible. This is a part of Achiever’s duties in managing our commercial trophy hunting tenures – to serve as a platform for guided hunts within these regions, although we prefer to shoot wildlife with cameras.
Contaminants and spills
As a part of our Healthy Waters program, Achiever has a spill science kit aboard to enable timely collection of important samples. The kits consist of safety gear, sampling supplies, and spill science protocols. High quality laboratory analysis, forensic evaluation of the data, and expert advice during and after an incident builds capacity to coastal communities and complement cleanup efforts led by those responsible for the spill, Western Canada Marine Response Corporation, and government agencies.
Spills of oil and chemicals into British Columbia’s coastal waters have killed fish, degraded fish habitat and led to closures of commercial, recreational and Indigenous fisheries. Obtaining samples from impacted areas during a spill is a critical, yet underappreciated, element of tracking the movement of the spilled product, accurately determining the environmental impact of the spill, and holding the responsible party to account.