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Governments, B.C. coastal First Nations endorse marine protection action plan

New protected areas coming between the top of Vancouver Island to the Canada-Alaska border
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Chief John Powell, centre, of the Mamalilikulla First Nation, sits with Joyce Murray, back left, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and former chief Richard Sumner during an announcement about a new marine refuge in the Gwaxdlala/Nalaxdlala (Lull Bay/Hoeya Sound) area in Knight Inlet on B.C.’s central coast, at the International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) in Vancouver, on Sunday, February 5, 2023. 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 the west coast of Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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.

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