Government of Canada establishes advisory panel on marine protected areas
Ottawa, Ontario – The Government of Canada is committed to keeping our oceans cleaner, safer and healthier, now and for future generations. To help strengthen protection measures in our oceans, we need to develop appropriate standards to determine how to best manage human activity within marine protected areas. Currently, the type of activities allowed or prohibited within each federally regulated protected area varies based on the tool used to manage the area.
Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced the establishment of a National Advisory Panel on protection standards in marine protected areas. The panel will be co-chaired by Mary Simon and Rémi Bujold. Panel members are David Anderson, Darcy Dobell, Tom Hayes, Marc Léger, and Chief Maureen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation.
The Panel is currently gathering information to provide advice on the development of categories of standards for allowable and prohibited activities within protected areas in Canada’s oceans. The Panel will consider the best available science and Indigenous traditional knowledge, and continue to hold meetings across the country to be informed by perspectives from stakeholders and experts in the field before offering its recommendations to the Minister. The public can also provide written submissions online.
The Panel will provide its recommendations in a final report to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard by September 15, 2018.
“Our Government is committed to reaching our marine conservation targets through sound science and transparent decision-making, and in meaningful consultation with Canadians. We’ve heard from Canadians that they expect certain standards to be in place in all Marine Protected Areas. This Panel will offer guidance on the best way to determine what protections should be in place in our protected areas.”
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P.,
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Protecting the land, and in particular our oceans, is critically important today and for future generations. We are confident that our recommendations to the Minister will help implement the obligations undertaken by the Government of Canada.”
RémiBujold, Co-chair, National Advisory Panel for Marine Protected Area Standards
“Canada has the longest coastline in the world which is also the home of Inuit and First Nations. Indigenous coastal communities have survived because of our ability to manage and protect our marine resources that remain as important to our future as they were to our past. It is natural that we bring our knowledge and become partners with Canada to manage and protect our marine areas.”
Mary Simon, Co-chair, National Advisory Panel for Marine Protected Area Standards
- The National Advisory Panel will be co-chaired by Rémi Bujold and Mary Simon.
- Panel members will meet in person across the country over the next few months and will seek perspectives from provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, stakeholders, experts and the Canadian public.
- The Panel will provide advice on standards for a variety of tools used by the Government of Canada to achieve marine conservation goals such as: Oceans Act Marine Protected Areas (OA MPAs) and marine refuges established by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, National Marine Conservation Areas (NMCAs) established by Parks Canada, and National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) established by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
- The Panel will be meeting in Vancouver from April 6 to 8, where presentations will be delivered by representatives from Indigenous groups, the fishing industry, the shipping industry, environmental non-government organizations and other marine users.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada