Canada’s ocean protection ripple could become a wave – Healthy Oceans

by ahnationtalk on June 12, 2017479 Views

June 8, 2017

Twenty-five years after Canada proposed the idea of World Oceans Day to the United Nations, people around the world are still celebrating on June 8. It’s also a time to reflect.

This week, a Canadian delegation is joining world leaders  in New York to support the United Nations’ goal to conserve and sustainably use the world’s oceans, seas and marine resources. Canada borders three oceans and has the world’s longest coastline, so marine protection should be central to our international reputation. A World Wildlife Fund poll shows   83 per cent of people in Canada are strongly in favour of protecting marine animals and habitats. Canadians expect their political representatives to keep orcas, belugas, salmon, sea otters, puffins and cod healthy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to agree. In a 2016 joint statement with then-president Barack Obama, he committed Canada to “substantially surpass” international commitments to protect 10 per cent of our oceans. But our actions have fallen behind our commitments: Canada has protected less than one per cent of its ocean. Recent announcements about proposed protection for Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic waters are welcome signs of progress after decades of stalling.

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