Oceans are the Earth’s largest life-support system. They regulate climate, produce oxygen and provide food and livelihoods for billions of people. To survive and prosper, we need healthy oceans. The Foundation promotes marine protected areas, better laws and other strategies to protect Canada’s oceans and marine life biodiversity.
Canada borders three oceans and has the world’s longest coastline. Our marine environment defines us. More than 80 per cent of people in Canada strongly favour protecting marine areas and the life they support. But threats from oil and gas development, shipping traffic and underwater noise, unsustainable commercial and recreational fishing, open-net-pen fish farms, toxins and climate change continue to grow.
Where we are now
Canada has international commitments to protect 10 per cent of its oceans, but has protected less than two per cent. Although government announcements about proposed protections for Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic waters signal progress, the quality of proposed protection is uncertain. We want minimum protection standards for marine protected areas that prohibit activities such as oil and gas development that hinder conservation efforts.
We’re holding the federal government to account to meet targets and create quality marine protection that includes networks, ecological diversity and management based on ecosystem needs. We support signed agreements with First Nations and are calling for stronger provisions in the Oceans Act.