Tofino’s Mark Hobson is the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s (PSF) annual Salmon Conservation Stamp Competition.
His painting of chinook chinook salmon beat out 12 other entries to adorn the decal anglers must purchase and affix to their saltwater fishing licence in order to retain any species of Pacific salmon. All revenues are channeled back through the foundation’s Community Salmon Program for salmon restoration and conservation projects.
Hobson’s winning painting depicts two chinook in shallow waters at the end of their third summer at sea, as they return to freshwater.
“As they near their natal streams they frequently linger closer to shore among kelp beds feasting on small herring-like fish as a final energy boost before tackling to the rigours of spawning,” wrote Hobson in his submission statement. “I love the stained glass effect that occurs when sunlight shines through the translucent kelp fronds and have tried to give the viewer a sense of this visual highlight.”
Hobson is an international award-winning artist focused on creating Pacific coast landscapes and wildlife. Trained as a professional biologist and science teacher, the three-time winner of the Salmon Conservation Stamp Competition, has also designed coins for the Royal Canadian Mint collector’s editions. Among his many career accomplishments, his work has been shown by the National Geographic Society.
Accounting for inflation, the value of the Salmon Stamp was increased to $6.13 this year.
With another funding round before year-end, PSF has already granted nearly $1.3 million to 117 projects in 65 communities across B.C. and the Yukon in 2020. The total value of these projects including volunteer time and in-kind donations was leveraged to $10.3 million in value to the community.