Government of Canada is Consulting on New Proposed Marine Protected Area
Canada issued the following Press Release:
“OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Dec. 19, 2016) – Canada is taking action to protect marine biodiversity, ecosystem function and special natural features by proposing St. Anns Bank in Nova Scotia as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) under Canada’s Oceans Act.
Located east of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, St. Anns Bank has many ecologically significant features, including unique habitats and areas of high biodiversity and biological productivity. It is home to a number of at-risk species such as the Atlantic wolffish and is a summer foraging area for the endangered leatherback turtle.
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced today the launch of a 45-day public consultation period that ends January 31, 2017, as part of the pre-publication of the proposed regulations in Canada Gazette Part I. The Government of Canada will consider comments provided by the public during the consultation period to formulate the final regulations that will establish and govern the new MPA.
- The work supporting the proposed MPA has been a collaboration with the St. Anns Bank Stakeholder Advisory Committee, composed of representatives from industry, academia, environmental non-government organizations, provincial and federal government regulators, First Nations and Indigenous organizations. The Advisory Committee participated in the development of the conservation objectives and the delineation of the MPA boundary and zones.
- The proposed Regulations would establish four management zones, where current low-impact activities would be permitted. Together these zones would balance the conservation and protection of biological diversity, habitat and biological productivity of the St. Anns Bank area while ensuring the continued access of existing local fisheries.
- Budget 2016 included $123.7 million over five years to support marine conservation activities. This includes the designation of new MPAs under the Oceans Act and developing new national parks and National Marine Conservation Areas.
- The new proposed areas will support the Government of Canada’s efforts to increase the amount of Canada’s marine and coastal areas that are protected to 5% by 2017 and 10% by 2020, which is roughly equivalent to the size of the Atlantic Provinces.
“The Government of Canada is proud to propose St. Anns Bank as Canada’s next Marine Protected Area. I am looking forward to continuing this important work with local government and stakeholders to see increased marine protection in this exceptional ocean area.”
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Proposal to Designate St. Anns Bank as a Marine Protected Area
St. Anns Bank AOI
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Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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