The federal and British Columbia governments, alongside 15 coastal First Nations, have officially endorsed the blueprint for a vast network of marine protected areas along Canada’s west coast.
The federal government says in a news release the Marine Protected Area Network Action Plan will support efforts to conserve 25 per cent of Canada’s oceans by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.
It says it will provide a planned approach for the creation of new protected areas in the Northern Shelf Bioregion, which extends from the top of Vancouver Island to the Canada-Alaska border.
It says the approach will identify areas of ecological and cultural conservation that will be considered for protection to help preserve important ocean ecosystems.
The government says this is the first marine protected area network in Canada, and will be co-governed by Indigenous, federal and provincial governments.
The endorsement was announced during the 5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress in Vancouver.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2023.