Pacific Wild on World Oceans Day 2017 presents the Great Bear Sea MPA Network
Today is World Oceans Day! This global day of ocean celebration helps us to remember how important the oceans are for our own survival. The theme this year is “Our Oceans, Our Future”. Without the ocean, there is no life on this planet. In British Columbia, we are fortunate to count the Great Bear Sea among our marine ecological treasures. The biodiversity and productivity of the Great Bear Sea makes this place a unique home for Pacific herring, sea otters, killer whales, humpback whales, and over 2000 runs of wild Pacific salmon.
- THE GOAL.
Tankers, unsustainable fisheries, pollution, and climate change all have a degrading effect on this relatively pristine coastal ecosystem and economy. The Province of BC and 17 First Nations on the coast co-led the Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP), a cooperative marine spatial plan based on ecosystem-based management, traditional knowledge, and all available science that was years in the making. Now, building on this work, the federal government has committed to work with the province and First Nations to design and implement a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the region, called the Northern Shelf Bioregion (NSB). If it is created and managed according to international best practices, the NSB MPA network is a conservation strategy that will create refuges for fish to replenish their populations, marine mammals to thrive in their habitat, and protect First Nations’ way of life and local economies for generations to come.
- THE ISSUE.
Hundreds of studies from around the world have shown that at a minimum, 30% of our ocean habitat must be fully protected to ensure the long-term survival of biodiversity, and that includes all of the species that feed us. Right now, less than 1% of Canada’s marine environment is protected. Our federal government made a commitment to protect 10% of marine and coastal areas by 2020. There is still a long way to go to protect that much: Canada needs to catch up and accelerate marine protection.
The design and implementation of Marine Protected Area networks can take a long time and not all areas of interest will be protected. Given the extensive planning and consultation that has already been done in this region, we
want to make sure the federal government prioritizes the Great Bear Sea for MPA network designation, and fast-tracks its protection in full collaboration with First Nations in the region.
- TAKE ACTION.
Please act now and let the Federal government know that you support 30% minimum protection of the Great Bear Sea:
1. Send a message to the Government of Canada saying that you want to see the Great Bear Sea MPA network with minimum 30% full protection established quickly in collaboration with First Nations.
2. Sign the pledge to protect the Great Bear Sea - we will contact you for help when actions you can get involved in come up.
3. Share this video to show your friends and networks why protecting the Great Bear Sea is so important for the future of human and ecological communities in the Great Bear Rainforest.