HALIFAX, March 22, 2018 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada remains committed to increasing the portion of protected marine and coastal areas to 10% by 2020, to ensure a healthy and sustainable marine environment now and for future generations.
Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced two new Areas of Interest (AOI) for future Oceans Act Marine Protected Area (MPA) designation and proposed a new conservation area under the Fisheries Act. The Eastern Shore Islands and the Fundian Channel-Browns Bank Areas of Interest and the Eastern Canyons proposed conservation area have been identified due to their unique, rare or sensitive ecological features in the Scotian Shelf Bioregion which includes the Scotian Shelf, the Bay of Fundy, and the Canadian portions of the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank.
Today's announcement is the first step towards establishing the new protection measures. Final boundaries and activity restrictions will be established through extensive consultations with the provinces and First Nations, Indigenous organizations and stakeholders.
These measures are a part of a larger Draft Marine Protected Area Network Design for the Scotian Shelf Bioregion which will be released soon. Through marine protected area network planning, the Government of Canada and its partners can identify the best areas to benefit from conservation measures to protect the biological diversity and health of the marine environment in Canada for present and future generations.
"Our government is committed to protecting 10% of Canada's marine areas by 2020. This target will be achieved through transparent decision making based on science and meaningful consultation with Canadians. We look forward to listening to what Canadians have to say about these two new proposed Marine Protected Areas and conservation area, which all aim to conserve important species and habitat so that they can benefit generations to come. "
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard