The Current State of Marine Protected Areas in Canada

By Nikita Lopoukhine

Canada, with the largest coastline in the world, is lagging behind many other countries in protecting its marine biodiversity through the use of marine protected areas (MPAs). Marine Protected Areas are a recognized valuable approach to conserving biodiversity while also having socio economic and cultural values. The current 0.88% of Canadian waters so protected has Canada listed as 23rd among OECD nations. Since Canada as a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity has agreed to a Strategic plan that calls for 10% protection of the global marine biome by 2020, much needs to be done to meet this target.

This report provides 14 recommendations. Examples from around the world and within Canada exists that can guide such work. It is imperative that political will gets behind this initiative as marine biodiversity is at risk and with it the substantive part of the dependent Canadian economy.

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