BETTER MARINE PROTECTED AREAS IN CANADA
Published on Apr 26 2019
I am thrilled that the federal government has announced “minimum standards” for marine protected areas (MPAs) in Canada. What does that mean? Well, it means that from now on, heavy industrial activities will be prohibited from occurring within any new marine protected area established in Canada. More specifically, it bans oil and gas activities, mining, dumping, and bottom-trawling. These are all ecologically harmful activities that are not compatible with marine conservation. It is hard to believe that these activities were previously even considered to occur within MPAs!
These minimum standards are based on recommendations developed by a panel of experts commissioned by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) who travelled across Canada to gain perspectives and knowledge from a variety of stakeholders and ocean users. The public has a strong desire to ensure that Canada’s oceans are properly protected.
Without minimum protection standards, MPAs tend to vary widely across the country. Some allow harmful activities, while others prohibit them. That sort of inconsistency has compromised the long-term health of ocean ecosystems, caused confusion and distrust among stakeholders, and created a long designation process.
CPAWS, along with many other individuals and environmental organizations, have been calling on the federal government to adopt these standards for many years. This is an important milestone for marine conservation in Canada. I hope you will join us in celebrating this win for the ocean!
We thank the government for adopting these standards, the panel’s efforts in making this happen and you, for your support. We couldn’t achieve such an important milestone without your help.
Here’s to a brighter future for the ocean.