Océans en santé. Communautés en santé

Brave new agreement for our shared marine heritage

December 12, 2008
Coalition of B.C. environmental groups applaud B.C. ocean agreement

Vancouver/Sointula B.C. - Today Living Oceans Society, David Suzuki Foundation and Sierra Club BC congratulated Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Coastal First Nations on their bold agreement to formally work together to develop a comprehensive marine plan for an enormous area of British Columbia’s coast known as the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA).The formal Memorandum of Understanding lays out how the First Nations and federal governments will work together as they develop a plan for the conservation and sustainable use of our marine resources.  

“We’ve called for this kind of agreement since 2005 when the federal government committed to marine planning on all of Canada’s coasts,” said Jennifer Lash, Executive Director of Living Oceans Society and a member of the BC ENGO Marine Planning Caucus. “Now that this MOU has been signed, the federal government needs to allocate enough financial resources so the PNCIMA plan can be created and implemented.”

The PNCIMA planning process will develop a marine use plan for the ocean, similar to the Land Use Plans that were developed for the Great Bear Rainforest. The intent of the marine plan for PNCIMA is to establish an ecosystem based management plan for the region, including outcomes and recommendations that provide for the long-term sustainability of resource use for future generations. 

“There is plenty of evidence that healthy oceans and healthy coastal communities go hand in hand,” said Bill Wareham, Senior Marine Conservation Specialist with the David Suzuki Foundation. “Our hope is that today’s agreement will lead to the establishment of a comprehensive ocean management and conservation plan that clearly defines conservation and economic use areas on our coast that will serve to restore populations of fish and marine species whose numbers have dropped because of overexploitation and other industrial activities.”

“It is surprising that the provincial government is absent from this MOU given the considerable role that the Province normally plays in these kinds of governance arrangements including the jurisdiction they have over marine foreshore as well as tenures and licenses,” said Colin Campbell, Science Advisor for the BC Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Even though the Province has indicated it will be an observer, we would prefer to see the provincial government sign on and become a full participant.”

The BC ENGO Marine Planning Caucus includes the Living Oceans Society, David Suzuki Foundation and the Sierra Club of BC.  



Kim Wright, Marine Planning and Protected Areas Director - Living Oceans Society
Office: 604-696-5044

Bill Wareham,     
Senior Marine Conservation Specialist - David Suzuki Foundation 
Office: (604) 732-4228
Cell: (604) 740-4318

Colin Campbell 
Science Advisor
Sierra Club of BC
Office: 250-386-5255, ext. 236
Cell: (250) 361-6476