Thursday, October 16, 2014

Article published in the Rural Observer by Amanda Swinimer & Christine Hopkins

Did you know that right here in the Pacific Northwest, we have among the richest diversity of seaweeds on the planet?  With over 650 species, some still waiting to be discovered and at least one species having been named by Bamfield’s own kelp expert, Dr. Louis Druehl, Ph.D., our foreshore invokes a jaw-dropping sense of awe to some of the world’s leading phycologists.

                Aside from the absolutely astonishing health benefits of seaweeds, such as their hyper-abundance of rare & essential minerals in bioavailable forms, their richness in most vitamins, their effectiveness in treating many chronic and acute illnesses and their promising preliminary results in the treatment and prevention of certain types of cancer, they are ecologically critical.  Most of the world’s oxygen is produced by algae, and most of the world’s carbon is fixed by algae.  Algae is the primary source that feeds the world’s oceans that cover two thirds of our planet.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, countless species of invertebrates and vertebrates use the seaweed gardens as a nursery.  The Kelp Forests are an oasis for a huge diversity of marine species and are among the most diverse ecosystems in the Pacific Ocean.

                If you rely in any way on the ocean as part of your livelihood and lifestyle, then the health of seaweeds is even more significant to you.

                With the government making decisions about whether to allow huge fleets  of supertankers to transport oil from the proposed pipeline  in Kitimat and also into terminals in Vancouver, we are deeply concerned.  An oil spill on our west coast would smother the seaweeds and the micro-algae, making it impossible for them to photosynthesize and thus leading to mass die-offs of our ocean’s primary source.  Every level of the food chain would be affected, either directly or indirectly, by an oil spill.  The seaweeds, the prawns, the crabs, the bivalves & univalves, the fish, the orcas and yes…our beloved salmon.    Furthermore, the effects of an oil spill ‘clean-up’ could be almost equally catastrophic.  Sometimes harsh chemicals unsafe for consumption are used as well as a new technique that disperses the oil into small particles that then cannot be collectively cleaned up and could continue to suffocate the single-celled algae that are responsible for producing most of the world’s oxygen supply (the very air we breathe), for unseen years to come.

                With consistent, heavy tanker traffic in our dangerous, stormy,  wild Northern waters,  a significant oil spill is statistically an inevitability.  As we have witnessed in the past, an oil spill in the ocean is devastating to any marine ecosystem.  I believe a marine ecosystem as rich and diverse and abundant as ours deserves the utmost care and collective contemplation of the practices that we, as the people who live, work and play here, allow in our delicate and near-pristine ocean ecosystem.   If a major oil spill happens on our coast, not only will our seaweeds disappear,  but so  will the species dependent upon it for food and shelter.  So too, I fear, will the health & lifestyle of the west-coaster.

Written by: 

Amanda Swinimer, BSc+ Marine Biology, Owner /operator of Dakini Tidal Wilds

Amanda wild-harvests local edible seaweeds and teaches people about seaweeds via educational tours, workshops and at schools


Christine Hopkins, registered aromatherapist, thallassotherapist

Christine sells seaweed for therapeutic use in baths and for skin absorption, and teaches people about the amazing healing properties of seaweeds.

Learn more about seaweeds by visiting

Amanda & Christine will be teaching classes on seaweeds at Royal Roads University in winter/spring 2015.

Seaweed Workshop with Dr. Prannie Rhatigan....Memories!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dakini Tidal Wilds~Upcoming Events

Hello Seaweed Enthusiasts,

Some exciting events coming up this season.

 JUNE 15th 10am-4pm Seaweed Workshop

This will be one of our best low tides of the season


INCLUDES: Identifying local seaweeds at low tide

Sustainable wild harvest techniques

Delicious wild seaweed lunch

Healing & nutritional properties of seaweeds

Seaweeds and chronic illnesses

Cost $90.00  (includes lunch) $30.00 deposit required by June 10th

Dr. Prannie Rhatigan from Ireland!!!

This has been years in the making, but she is coming!  She is an internationally acclaimed speaker and author and is not to be missed. 

On July 11th from 6:30 to 9:30 Prannie will be presenting a lecture at the Shirley Hall, 20km west of Sooke.

On July 12th, there will be a full day workshop, an intimate experience with Dr. Prannie Rhatigan for up to 17 lucky people.  The workshop is taking place at the Ocean Wilderness Inn ( ), located 12 km west of Sooke.

Visit to learn more about Dr. Prannie Rhatigan.


To register for any of these events, contact Lori at or phone 250.646.2116.


For details on any events, visit  or e-mail me at or call me at 250.818.4633.
Contact Christine Hopkins
Ph. 250.646.2425

Hope to see you at the beach!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Christine Hopkins and I (Amanda Swinimer) are VERY excited & pleased to announce that Dr. Prannie Rhatigan will be visiting our island, all the way from IRELAND!  A world renowned speaker, scholar and
'hands on'  seaweed enthusiast, Dr. Rhatigan is also the author of 'The Irish Seaweed Kitchen'.

Dr. Prannie Rattigen will be presenting in a large venue the evening of July 11th
AND offering an intimate 'hands on' workshop for up to 20 lucky people on July 12th, one of our best low tides of the season!

If you LOVE seaweed, and/or are intrigued by seaweeds, this is truly a 'once-in-a-lifetime' opportunity!

Venue details and times to follow.

Contact Amanda Swinimer:         (250) 818-4633
Christine Hopkins:        (250) 646-2425
for more details or to register.

Monday, May 5, 2014


Christine Hopkins and I (Amanda Swinimer) are VERY excited & pleased to announce that Dr. Prannie Rattigen will be visiting our island in July.  A world renowned speaker, scholar and
'hands on'  seaweed enthusiast, Dr. Rattigen is also the author of 'The Irish Seaweed Kitchen'.

Stay tuned for details to come*

Pleased to welcome my apprentice this year...Elya!

Monday, April 14, 2014


Our first Seaweed Workshop is scheduled for Sunday June 15, 2014.  We have an amazing low tide on this day and the seaweeds will be in the best part of their season!  For info on workshops, visit .  To register contact:
Amanda Swinimer
Ph. 250 818-4633
Christine Hopkins
Ph. 250 646-2425