Call for more concerted action on marine protected areas (MPAs) in Canada

Call for more concerted action on marine protected areas (MPAs) in Canada by Frederic Guichard, Associate Professor, McGill University,  

Dear Colleagues, I am writing to ask for your help by lending your name to the call for more concerted action on marine conservation, and in particular marine protected areas (MPAs) in Canada. So far, only 1% of Canada’s oceans in any form of protection, and almost nothing that is fully protected. I was part of a group of 14 marine scientists calling on Canada to strictly protect at least 30% of its oceans in “no-take” reserves. The report was commissioned by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), and in it we make the case for more decisive action by governments in Canada to set aside critical areas from fishing and other industrial activities such as oil and gas extraction in designated marine protected areas (MPAs). The report is the first, independent, scientifically-based set of guidelines for the selection, design and implementation of Canada’s MPAs. Our goal is to “raise the bar” for MPAs in Canada by clearly documenting how world-leading MPA standards should be applied in the Canadian context. To achieve the full benefits of MPAs in conserving biodiversity and supporting sustainable fisheries, we indicated that certain requirements must be met, including:

 • “No-take” reserves spanning no less than 30% of each bioregion in Canadian waters to protect critical marine wildlife habitat.

 • Exclusion of industrial activities, including exploration and extraction of non-renewable resources, dredging, dumping, and destructive fishing practices, particularly bottom trawling.

 • Integration of MPAs into effective networks and more broadly into comprehensive oceans management systems. You can view the summary of the report, information about the other authors and the full edition of Science-based Guidelines for MPAs and MPA Networks in Canada at  http://cpaws.org/news/mpa-guidelines.

 You can help by signing onto to our letter to the Government of Canada – it is an easy process at the following link: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2463/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6837 

Our goal is to have 2000 scientists from around the world endorsing these guidelines. We will present this to the Government of Canada in our efforts to ensure better protection of ocean ecosystems. Thank you very much for taking the time to help. All the best, Frederic Frederic Guichard Associate Professor, McGill University Department of Biology, http://falco.biol.mcgill.ca