ELATE: E-Learning and Teacher Education
NATURAL RESOURCES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
This unit deals with the study of Natural Resources, case study British Columbia in
North –America. WHAT ARE NATURAL RESOURCES? A natural resource is
anything that is provided by nature, which can be used to satisfy human needs. A
resource is anything that enables to produce and obtain our needs. Natural resources
are useful to man in very many ways after they have been exploited. The basic needs
are shelter, food and clothing. The major natural resources of the world are found in
their natural form, which include forests, lakes, rivers, minerals, climate, relief, and
This unit will help you understand the natural resources have contributes to economic
and development of British Columbia. You will be able to compare the extent to
which natural resources in their own region have been exploited for development in
relation to those found in British Columbia. In this unit you learn about how fishing
and forestry have contributed to development and compare with the natural resources
utilisation on East Africa.
You will also learn about various methods and strategies how these natural resources
have been effectively exploited. You will be able to appreciate that some countries
have succeeded/developed or failed to develop in many fundamental ways simply
because they have been able or unable to process and add value their natural
Fishing is the second leaching activity in British Columbia. This provides 60% of fish
in Canada. This fishing industry depends on the direct exploration of natural resource
hence a primary sector.
British Columbia is a province with endowed areas of great concentrate of fish, these
- Pelagic fish – which live and breed close to the surface of the sea like Tuna
- Dermal Sal fish – which line is close to the bottom of the sea such as cod,
halibut and hadlock..
- Anachroman, which live in the ocean but breed from fresh waters like salmon.
- Crustaceous fish. Such as, lobsters, shrumps, crabs, oysters and prawns.
The major fishing grounds of British Columbia, along the coast where deep fishing is
practical other fishing grounds include Lakes/ Rivers and man made ponds
- Fishing in B.C is a better alternative apart from forestry since the souls are
infertile for agriculture and the climatic conditions are too harsh, limiting the
population on the coastal areas.
- Improved technology is another factor. This is reflected in developed fish
methods which include; the use of drifters, trenkers,etc and also improved
preservation methods use of refrigerators and canning. In addition to the cool
climate in the region offers natural preservation.
- Presence of skill and manpower who give specialized work in the different
areas e.g. fishing, preserving and canning.
- Presence of capital for the development of the sector. This is mostly needed in
purchasing of up to date fishing gear.
- Presence of market for fish. Most of the natives depend on fish for proteins.
There is ready market at home and abroad especially U.S.A and North
This unit deals with water as one of the natural resources of British Columbia and
fishing is one of the major economic activities.
By the end of the lesson students should be able to;
- Identify the fishing grounds in British Columbia.
- Identify the types of fish species in the waters of British Columbia.
- Describe the methods of fishing used, preservation methods
- Explain the factors favouring fishing in British Columbia.
- Explain or identify the problems facing fishing in British Columbia and their
- Pictures of different species of fish e.g. salmon, crab, oysters etc.
Factors favoring fishing in British Columbia
- The presence of the water bodies both fresh (the lakes, rivers and ponds) and
the salty ocean waters (marine fishing), this leads to a variety of fish in the
- The good climatic conditions created by the ocean currents (the warm North
pacific eluft and the cold Alaska current). These lead to the upwelling of cold
water a long the coast thus bringing plankton food for the fish to the surface
thus extracting the fish in great members.
- Good hobours - The North American coast around the British Columbia is an
identified coastline, which offers the province safe sheltered hobours for good
landing grounds, for development of ports and fish landing sites.
- The waters are deep enough along the coast making deep-water fishing
METHODS OF FISHING
It’s practiced deep waters, involves use of two boats, large and small nets supported
by weights and floats. The net is connected on a small boat, which pulls it around a
shoal of fish. The fish is then pulled into the big boats and transported to the shore.
This is mainly used in catching the demersal fish and it involves dragging a cone bag
made of nets ( a trawl) over a sea bed. The trawl is attached to the boat, which drags it
on the shore through the water to catch the bottom or dermesal fish.
Drifters (or Gill) net methods
The holes of the net are big enough to allow the fish enter in their effort to treat, they
are caught by the gill
These are commonly used for the crustaceous fish species e.g. lobsters, crabs. A trap
box is set with baits inside. It is fastened on the boat with a rope then in the sea and
want for catch.
Canning: mainly used for the fish, which is to be exported.
Salting: is a method that dehydrates the fish hence preserving it. It also protects fish
from bacterial attacks. Salted fish is usually for export.
Refrigeration and refrigeneted trucks used on fish to be consumed fresh.
Smoking is another traditional method that is usually used and it is facilitated by
presence of wood. It’s mainly for home market.
PROBLEMS FACING FISHING IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
- Over fishing. There is a danger of wiping out some of the species due to
indiscriminant fishing. This is mainly affecting the salmon fish, usually caught
when migrating for breeding.
- Pollution of the coastal water from the industrial areas.
- Construction of dams across the rivers and the floating logs abstract the
movement of fish when migrating to their breeding grounds.
- Limited home market due to low population.
- Shortage of labour due to the small population and the fact that most people
are encouraged in the forestry industry
- There is competition from other fish-producing region, like Japan.
- Price fluctuation of fish.
SOLUTIONS TO FISHING PROBLEMS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
– Establish laws against over fish
– Ban fishing in the breeding season.
- Treatment of the waste before dumping.
Obstruction from dams
- Numbers of dams along the rivers are being reduced.
Obstruction from logs –
- Some rivers not used to transport logs
Carry out research to acquire a wider market.
Set up factories that use fish as a raw material.
1. Mention the types of fish species caught in British Columbia.
2. Describe the methods of fishing used.
3. Give five conditions which have favoured the development of fishing in B.C
4. What problems are facing the fishing industry in British Columbia
5. What is the importance of fishing to the country?
6. Name the fishing grounds in North America and fishing grounds in East
7. Compare fishing in North America and fishing in East Africa
1. Where is British Columbia located?
2. Compare the size of British Columbia and that of East Africa.
3. What do you understand by the term “Natural Resource”.
a. Mention five natural resources that are found in both British Columbia
and East Africa
b. .Draw a sketch map of British Columbia showing the distribution of
5. Give three major natural resources of British Columbia.
6. Name the types of forests in British Columbia.
7. Describe the characteristics of forests in British Columbia.
a. Give the major tree species found in the temperate forests.
b. What are tropical forests?
c. How do tropical forests differ from those found in British Columbia?
9. Give five factors which have favoured the growth of forests in British
10. Mention five benefits of the forest industry to the people of British Columbia?
11. How has the government of British Columbia solved the problems mentioned
ANSWERS TO THE STUDENTS EXERCISES
1. British Columbia is Canada’s western province between latitudes 48 ۫ N and 60 ۫ N
and longitudes 115 ۫ W and 140 ۫ W along the pacific oceon. It comprises of a portion
of the main land and Vancouver Island which is separeated from the main land by
strait of Georgia. The province of Alberta is the east, the Yukon Territory is in the
North and United States of America State of Washingston is in the south bordeer of
2. British Columbia covers an area of about 939.000 square kilometers while East
Africa is approximately 1.773.200 square kilometers.
3. A natural resource is a an area that is provided by nature hence can be used to
satisfy human needs. The basic needs are food, shelter, and clothing.
4. Natural resources found is both British Columbia and East Africa include:
Animals including those in water
Water-on the surface and within the ground
5. A sketch Map of British Columbia showing the Forested Areas.
6. Water, vegetation, and minerals
7. Temperate forests (coniferous) type
8. Characteristics include:
a. They grew in pure stands since few species can survive the harsh
b. Their leaves are thin and needle shaped with hard skin so that they
drop off the snow easily in severe winters.
c. The branches are downward facing , making the trees cone-shaped all
for quick snow slide off.
d. The fruit peel is hard to protect the seed from freezing before maturity.
e. The trees grow up very fast –a factor facilitating easy afforestation and
f. They have soft wood tree species i.e. harch, larch, spruce, pime, etc.
a. the most popular tree species include:
b. the Douglas fir
c. Balsam fir
d. The red Cedar
f. Western Hemlock coak
Tropical forests are forests that are adaptable to tropical climate conditions i.e. hot and
wet. These forests consist of hard wood species.
Difference between tropical forests and those found in British Coulumbia.
Tropical Forests Temperate Forests
Have hard wood species. Have soft wood species.
Heterogeneous i.e. have a variety of Homogeneous i.e. tree of the same
tree growing together. species growing together.
Have trees with big buttress roots and Have uniform trunks with small
big branches. branches.
Have round tapped or flat tapped Have core-shaped trees.
Forests grow in three layers or Trees grow separately with little or no
canopies with thick undergrowth of undergrowth.
- Climate i.e. cool damp maritime climate at the coastal area and the continental and
mountain climate in the interior.
- Rugged terrain has been left for forestry.
- Thin infertile soils not suitable for agriculture but favour growth of forests.
- Provision for alternative employment
- Provision of raw-materials for manufacture of paper, pulp, furniture and also used
- Source of medicine
- Used for research
- Source of fuel
- Used to establish infrastructure in the area e.g. railways, ports, etc.
- It earns the government revenue
- Important for tourism
- Rugged terrain i.e. rocky mountains and coastal ranges limit extension and
- Confinement of lumbering has let to over exploitation of forests on the coastal
ranges and offshore islands.
- Wide-spread spontaneous fires especially in summer destroy the valuable timber
- Trees take long to mature
- Competition for pulp and paper markets
- Isolation i.e. far from the European markets
- Problem of pests and diseases which destroy the trees, especially fungal infection
- Avalanches destroy the trees
- Accidents, snakebites and other harmful jungle animals sometimes do harm the
- Shortage of labour since the permanent workers in the forests are few.
- Transport problem especially in the interior of the forests where the roads are
- With the summer fires, fire guards from established control towers serve the
purpose. Air patrols by helicopters is also emphasized. Water stations are distributed
in the forest such that the patrol crews get access to water when putting out fire.
- Afforestation and reafforestation programmes have been embarked upon to preserve
the forest reserves
- High gear vehicles are used in the interior through the rugged steep terrain
- There is intensive use of machines which is efficient.
- Systematic and selective felling of trees is carried out.
Resource Sealed culture
Natural resource Decidious forest
Afforestation Tree felling
Landing ground/site Drifting
Continental shelf Canning
Indented/irregular coastline Refrigeration