Marine Protection

Ocean resources are our lifeline. They define who we are as Coastal First Nations people.

That’s why protection and sustainable economic development are the foundation of our marine plans for our traditional waters.

Currently very little meaningful marine protection is in place to protect coastal health and economies. Only 0.1 per cent of our marine Traditional Territories are fully protected from industrial activity. Almost no areas are closed to commercial fishing.

In 2010, Canada committed to targets set by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. It agreed to protect 5 per cent of Canada’s marine and coastal areas by 2017 and 10 per cent by 2020.

In 2015, Coastal First Nations welcomes a renewed commitment by the federal government to ocean co-management and increased coastal protection.  This is an important step toward reconciliation with First Nations governments and for BC’s marine health.

Protecting Ocean Cultures and Ecosystems

Importance of Marine Protected Areas

Benefits for First Nations communities

  • Protect cultural or historical features and First Nations traditional harvesting
  • Provide economic benefits such as increases in size and abundance of fish, and spillover benefits to nearby fishing grounds
  • Supply opportunities for research, education and monitoring of human impacts
  • Support opportunities in tourism and conservation
  • Protect and restore habitats that supply ecosystem services. (Estuaries that provide carbon storage and shoreline habitats that buffer against climate change and natural disaster)

Benefits for the environment

  • Protect the genetic diversity of marine species and ecosystems
  • Protect ecological processes and food web relationships
  • Preserve a diversity of marine habitats critical to the survival of marine species
  • Protect marine biodiversity from the cumulative impacts of human use
  • Protect endangered or threatened species, such as the Northern Abalone, eulachon and northern killer whale