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.
Oceans cover 71 per cent of the Earth's surface and contain 97 per cent of its water.
Oceans have absorbed more than 90 per cent of emissions-trapped heat since the 1970s.
By 2050, plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish.
Get the 101 on Marine Protected Areas
Science and Learning Centre resources
Charting Coastal Currents: Canada’s Pacific Communities Talk Climate, Culture, Oceans and the Future
This report highlights the concerns and hopes of coastal British Columbians, gathered during a 2015 tour of the traditional territories of 12 First Nations.