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Marine Protected Areas
In Canada, and across the world, there is a growing recognition that marine protected areas have a critical role to play in the conservation and protection of marine life and their habitats.
Canada's oceans are rich and have enormous potential to benefit both present and future generations. Our coastal and offshore marine ecosystems are host to a remarkable diversity of species including marine mammals, fish, and a wide variety of invertebrate species and plants.
However, threats to the biodiversity, productivity and ecological integrity of marine ecosystems must be addressed, not only because we value our oceans but also because coastal communities and regional economies depend on healthy productive oceans.
Canada's Oceans Act gives us the ability to establish Marine Protected Areas to conserve and protect unique habitats, endangered or threatened marine species and their habitats, commercial and non-commercial fishery resources (including marine mammals) and their habitats, marine areas of high biodiversity or biological productivity, and any other marine resource or habitat requiring special protection.
Now Canada has additional tools to prevent environmental degradation from occurring and to provide marine resources and their habitats with a second chance.
Canada’s Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy, the Marine Protected Areas Policy and the National Framework for Establishing and Managing Marine Protected Areas outline the approach that Fisheries and Oceans Canada is taking towards establishing and managing Marine Protected Areas and a network of marine protected areas across Canada