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What are Marine Protected Areas?

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Canada is embraced by the ocean on three sides, giving it the longest shoreline of any nation. With a lot shoreline comes the accountability to guard the ocean and the species that decision it dwelling.

The ocean sustains life on our planet. It provides us air to breathe, meals to eat, and shops 16 occasions the quantity of carbon as land. However as you learn this, human exercise is decimating aquatic species, destroying delicate ecosystems, and threatening our future and lifestyle. 

Canada has a purpose to guard 30 % of our oceans by 2030 however what does “safety” imply and can we attain the 30×30 goal?

What are Marine Protected Areas?

We will consider Marine Protected Areas as Nationwide Parks for the ocean.

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are components of the ocean the place species, habitats, and ecosystems are legally protected and conserved beneath Canada’s Oceans Act. They’re managed by the Division of Fisheries and Oceans Canada for long-term sustainability. Inside an MPA, sure damaging makes use of and actions are prohibited, corresponding to mining and oil and fuel exploration.

MPAs safeguard extra than simply biodiversity. Additionally they defend underwater archaeological websites and supply tourism alternatives. Wherever doable MPAs must be established and co-managed with Indigenous communities to learn from Indigenous data and promote and uphold Indigenous Peoples’ rights to their lands and waters.

Why are Marine Protected Areas necessary?

MPAs have numerous advantages each for the surroundings and other people. They defend genetic range, habitats, meals webs, ecological processes, and species vulnerable to extinction just like the southern resident orca on Canada’s west coast and the North Atlantic proper whale on the east coast.

Southern Resident Killer Whale

MPAs enhance and defend the well being of marine environments, however additionally they assist coastal communities, sustainable marine industries, and native economies. For First Nations communities, MPAs can safeguard cultural and historic options, conventional harvesting of meals sources, present financial advantages, and might even assist analysis, training, and tourism.

Above all, each new MPA is one other step in the direction of attaining the federal authorities’s purpose of defending 30 % of our lands and waters by 2030.

Wanting again—and ahead—at Marine Protected Areas

The Laurentian Channel Victory

In 2019, Canada’s federal authorities introduced MPA standing for the Laurentian Channel, a deep ocean valley that acts as an expressway for wildlife off the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. This designation was made doable partially by Nature Canada supporters who signed letters and petitions in assist of the marketing campaign to guard the world’s whale inhabitants and different threatened wildlife.

Leatherback Turtle, Jason Isley/scubazoo

Because of supporters such as you, yearly at the least 20 whale and dolphin species can migrate freely by means of the Laurentian Channel MPA. It’s dwelling to species in danger just like the Leatherback Sea Turtle and Northern Wolffish, and it is among the few locations the place Black Dogfish and Porbeagle Sharks can nonetheless give delivery to their younger.

The Laurentian Channel MPA is over 11,000 sq. kilometres, making it the second-largest MPA in Canada. However even at that dimension, the Laurentian Channel MPA solely protects 0.2 % of Canada’s Ocean. We’ll want much more large victories to succeed in the 30 % by 2030 goal.

Defending the Pacific Deepsea Oasis

In case you have been to dive hundreds of meters under the water’s floor off the coast of Vancouver, you’d encounter a panoramic seascape consisting of 13 underwater mountains, huge coral forests, and a posh ecosystem brimming with life. Black smoke billows from hydrothermal vents as they launch sizzling, nutrient-rich water from the earth’s core.

Collectively, these mountains and deep-sea sizzling springs present perfect habitat for all times each large and small—from microscopic creatures to dolphins, rays, and octopus—to not point out species discovered nowhere else on earth.

Welcome to the Pacific Deepsea Oasis, a proposed MPA that’s dwelling to important species just like the uncommon ghost octopus, specialised sea cucumbers, sharks, blue whales and threatened orcas. This space and the species that inhabit it are in danger from mining and damaging fishing practices.

Add your voice right this moment in assist of defending this fragile ecosystem from irreparable harm by establishing an MPA!

If the Pacific Deepsea Oasis is granted MPA standing, it is going to acquire safety from over-fishing and exploration for oil, fuel, and minerals. This may safeguard distinctive species and protect this fascinating space for scientific exploration.

30×30 is inside attain – Defend Marine Areas Right this moment

Canada’s purpose to guard 30 % of our oceans by 2030 gained’t occur until nature-lovers throughout the nation demand it. With out authorized protections, marine species and their habitats are susceptible to human exercise. This doesn’t should be the case. Collectively, we will advocate for these important areas that present us with a lot. 

Do much more to guard marine areas by turning into an Ocean Defender right this moment!



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