[Sust-mar] MPA guidelines release

Rodrigo Menafra marine at cpawsns.org
Tue May 17 12:01:59 EDT 2011


*May 16, 2011*


*Scientists call on Canada to strictly protect at least 30% of its oceans*


Victoria, B.C.  - A group of 14 leading marine scientists is calling on
Canada to strictly protect at least 30% of its oceans in “no-take reserves”
under new guidelines for marine protected areas that would make industrial
activities off limits within their boundaries.

In a report commissioned by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
(CPAWS), being released today at the *International Marine Conservation
Congress* in Victoria, B.C., the scientists underscore the severe problems
facing many of Canada’s ocean ecosystems.

They make the case for more decisive action by governments in Canada to set
aside critical areas from fishing and other industrial activities such as
oil and gas extraction in designated marine protected areas.

The report is the first, independent, scientifically-based set of guidelines
for the selection, design and implementation of Canada’s Marine Protected
Areas (MPAs).

*“Canada is way behind many other western countries, such as Australia and
New Zealand, in protecting its marine ecosystems. In our report, we offer
concrete ways in which Canada can become one of the word’s leaders in ocean
conservation,” *says panel member Dr. Philip Dearden, Professor and Chair,
Department of Geography, University of Victoria*.*

The scientists’ goal is to “raise the bar” for MPAs in Canada by clearly
documenting how world-leading MPA standards should be applied in the
Canadian context.

“*We’re concerned that the planning and management of marine protected areas
in Canada is not incorporating key lessons from international conservation
science. For example, so far there are almost no marine protected areas in
Canada that are fully protected from fishing,” *says Dr. Isabelle Côté,
Professor of Marine Ecology at Simon Fraser University.**

To achieve the full benefits of MPAs in conserving biodiversity and
supporting sustainable fisheries, the scientists say certain requirements
must be met, including:

·         “No-take” reserves spanning no less than 30% of each bioregion in
Canadian waters to protect critical marine wildlife habitat.

·         Exclusion of industrial activities, including exploration and
extraction of non-renewable resources, dredging, dumping, and destructive
fishing practices, particularly bottom trawling.

·         Integration of MPAs into effective networks and more broadly into
comprehensive oceans management systems.

 “*We’re calling on governments in Canada to implement these guidelines as
they move forward on their commitment to create a national network of marine
protected areas.  This is an essential step towards conserving the full
diversity of life in our oceans, and ensuring that we have a sustainable
fishing industry for generations to come*,” says Sabine Jessen, National
Manager of CPAWS’ Oceans and Great Freshwater Lakes Conservation Program.

CPAWS will be meeting with federal and provincial officials responsible for
marine protected areas to discuss the application of these guidelines.

View the summary of the report, information about the authors and the full
edition of *Science-based Guidelines for MPAs and MPA Networks in Canada* at

Rodrigo Menafra
Marine Conservation Coordinator
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)
Nova Scotia Chapter
Halifax, NS
marine at cpawsns.org
(902) 446-4155
(902) 229-3519

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