Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound Glass Sponge Reef Conservation Initiative

The protection of coral and sponge reefs is a key component to a number of international commitments made by the Government of Canada through the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

British Columbia’s ancient glass sponge reefs are a globally unique ecosystem that provides important habitat for many marine animals including spot prawns, rockfish, herring, halibut, and sharks. The Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound Conservation Initiative is designed to implement measures to protect and conserve glass sponge reefs on British Columbia’s south coast by using ecosystem-based management, a precautionary approach, and integrated management, and by promoting sustainable development.

Frequently asked questions: Glass Sponge Reefs in the Strait of Georgia.

Protected Areas

We have implemented formal fishing closures to protect nine glass sponge reefs in the Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound. All commercial and recreational and Indigenous bottom contact fishing activities for prawn, shrimp, crab and groundfish (including halibut) are prohibited within the areas listed below in order to protect known Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound Glass Sponge Reefs. These closures will be in effect until further notice.

Howe Sound – Defence Islands Closure

Glass Sponge Reef Conservation Areas - Pacific Region
Howe Sound – Defence Islands Closure

That portion of Subarea 28-4 that lies inside a line:

begins at 49°34.102'N 123°17.070'W
then southerly to 49°33.730'N 123°16.562'W
then to 49°33.553'N 123°16.462'W
then to 49°33.438'N 123°16.750'W
then to 49°33.707'N 123°17.201'W
then to 49°33.993'N 123°17.391'W

then to the beginning point.

Howe Sound – Queen Charlotte Channel Closures

Glass Sponge Reef Conservation Areas - Pacific Region
Howe Sound – Queen Charlotte Channel Closures

Those portions of Subareas 28-2 and 29-3 that lie inside the following lines:

Howe Sound – Queen Charlotte Channel 1
begins at 49°21.486'N 123°17.254'W
then southerly to 49°20.528'N 123°17.690'W
then to 49°20.401'N 123°17.956'W
then to 49°20.765'N 123°18.794'W
then to 49°20.982'N 123°18.584'W
then to 49°21.098'N 123°18.037'W
then to 49°21.501'N 123°17.737'W

then to the beginning point.

Howe Sound – Queen Charlotte Channel 2
begins at 49°20.288'N 123°17.693'W
then southeasterly to 49°20.2249'N 123°17.501'W
then to 49°19.993'N 123°17.377'W
then to 49°19.802'N 123°17.444'W
then to 49°19.720'N 123°17.840'W
then to 49°19.937'N 123°18.107'W

then to the beginning point.

Howe Sound – Queen Charlotte Channel 3
begins at 49°19.918'N 123°19.847'W
then southerly to 49°19.296'N 123°19.905'W
then to 49°19.307'N 123°20.344'W
then to 49°19.643'N 123°20.421'W
then to 49°19.819'N 123°20.361'W
then to 49°19.947'N 123°20.097'W

then to the beginning point.

Howe Sound – Queen Charlotte Channel 4
begins at 49°20.637'N 123°19.162'W
then easterly to 49°20.577'N 123°18.720'W
then to 49°20.441'N 123°18.637'W
then to 49°20.068'N 123°18.818'W
then to 49°20.076'N 123°19.135'W
then to 49°19.718'N 123°19.188'W
then to 49°19.726'N 123°19.514'W
then to 49° 20.259'N 123°19.828'W

then to the beginning point.

Foreslope Hills Closure

Glass Sponge Reef Conservation Areas - Pacific Region
Foreslope Hills Closure

That portion of Subarea 29-3 that lies inside a line:

begins at 49°09.634'N 123°23.048'W
then southeasterly to 49°09.389'N 123°22.622'W
then to 49°09.187'N 123°22.587'W
then to 49°09.211'N 123°23.567'W
then to 49°09.646'N 123°23.543'W

then to the beginning point.

Outer Gulf Islands Closure

Glass Sponge Reef Conservation Areas - Pacific Region
Outer Gulf Islands Closure

Those portions of Subareas 18-1 and 29-4 that lie inside the following lines:

Outer Gulf Islands 1
begins at 48°54.936'N 123°19.589'W
then southerly to 48°54.283'N 123°18.529'W
then to 48°54.114'N 123°18.619'W
then to 48°54.065'N 123°18.771'W
then to 48°54.787'N 123°19.929'W
then to 48°54.902'N 123°19.793'W

then to the beginning point.

Outer Gulf Islands 2
begins at 48°52.588'N 123°15.261'W
then easterly to 48°52.520'N 123°14.537'W
then to 48°51.971'N 123°13.768'W
then to 48°51.795'N 123°13.947'W
then to 48°52.150'N 123°14.444'W
then to 48°52.038'N 123°14.678'W
then to 48°52.479'N 123°15.521'W

then to the beginning point.

Outer Gulf Islands 3
begins at 48°51.602'N 123°13.233'W
then southerly to 48°51.309'N 123°12.751'W
then to 48°50.913'N 123°12.938'W
then to 48°50.844'N 123°13.059'W
then to 48°51.163'N 123°13.662'W
then to 48°51.579'N 123°13.378'W

then to the beginning point.

Outer Gulf Islands 4
begins at 48°50.999'N 123°12.391'W
then southerly to 48°50.608'N 123°11.603'W
then to 48°50.097'N 123°10.956'W
then to 48°49.959'N 123°11.182'W
then to 48°50.857'N 123°12.654'W
then to 48°50.959'N 123°12.566'W

then to the beginning point.

Gabriola Island Closure

Glass Sponge Reef Conservation Areas - Pacific Region
Gabriola Island Closure

That portion of Subarea 17-11 that lies inside a line:

begins at 49°13.672'N 123°47.577'W
then southerly to 49°13.235'N 123°47.429'W
then to 49°13.185'N 123°47.882'W
then to 49°13.391'N 123°48.119'W
then to 49°13.623'N 123°48.166'W

then to the beginning point.

Parksville Closure

Glass Sponge Reef Conservation Areas - Pacific Region
Parksville Closure

Those portions of Subareas 14-2 and 14-3 that lie inside a line:

begins at 49°21.680'N 124°19.762'W
then southeasterly to 49°21.514'N 124°18.893'W
then to 49°21.191'N 124°17.723'W
then to 49°21.064'N 124°17.724'W
then to 49°20.725'N 124°18.380'W
then to 49°21.432'N 124°19.811'W

then to the beginning point.

East of Hornby Island Closure

Glass Sponge Reef Conservation Areas - Pacific Region
East of Hornby Island Closure

That portion of Subarea 14-6 that lies inside a line:

begins at 49°33.490'N 124°29.230'W
then southerly to 49°32.701'N 124°28.760'W
then to 49°31.657'N 124°29.434'W
then to 49°31.663'N 124°29.896'W
then to 49°32.651'N 124°29.752'W
then to 49°33.340'N 124°29.935'W
then to 49°33.498'N 124°29.773'W

then to the beginning point.

Sechelt Closure

Glass Sponge Reef Conservation Areas - Pacific Region
Sechelt Closure

That portion of Subarea 29-2 that lies inside a line:

begins at 49°25.948'N 123°48.889'W
then easterly to 49°25.899'N 123°47.266'W
then to 49°25.373'N 123°46.494'W
then to 49°24.734'N 123°47.083'W
then to 49°24.910'N 123°47.951'W
then to 49°24.253'N 123°48.283'W
then to 49°24.845'N 123°49.914'W

then to the beginning point.

Halibut Bank Closure

Glass Sponge Reef Conservation Areas - Pacific Region
Halibut Bank Closure

That portion of Subarea 29-2 that lie inside a line:

begins at 49°21.768'N 123°41.501'W
then southerly to 49°21.174'N 123°40.045'W
then to 49°20.961'N 123°40.139'W
then to 49°20.803'N 123°39.860'W
then to 49°20.565'N 123°40.182'W
then to 49°21.610'N 123°41.843'W
then to 49°21.673'N 123°42.643'W
then to 49°21.895'N 123°43.908'W
then to 49°22.174'N 123°44.748'W
then to 49°22.555'N 123°44.456'W
then to 49°22.188'N 123°42.167'W

then to the beginning point.

Strait of Georgia Sponge Reef Closures

Strait of Georgia Sponge Reef Closures

Voluntary Avoidance Areas

We have also issued a public request to all fishers participating in bottom contact fishing activities for prawn, shrimp, crab and groundfish to voluntarily avoid fishing in nine additional glass sponge reef sites located in Howe Sound.

Consultations on potential protection measures for these nine reefs will be scheduled for later this year. Below are the coordinates for the nine voluntary avoidance sites.

East Defence Island (West)

East Defence Island (West)

That portion of Subarea 28-4 that lies inside a line that:

begins at 49° 34.716' N 123° 16.430' W
then northeast to 49° 34.717' N 123° 16.384' W
then southeast to 49° 34.633' N 123° 16.372' W
then northwest to 49° 34.641' N 123° 16.425' W
then to the beginning point    
East Defence Island (East)

East Defence Island (East)

That portion of Subarea 28-4 that lies inside a line that:

begins at 49° 34.770' N 123° 16.312' W
then true east to 49° 34.770' N 123° 16.261' W
then southeast to 49° 34.647' N 123° 16.214' W
then northwest to 49° 34.648' N 123° 16.311' W
then to the beginning point    
Anvil Island

Anvil Island

That portion of Subarea 28-4 that lies inside a line that:

begins at 49° 32.790' N 123° 17.343' W
then southeast to 49° 32.788' N 123° 16.955' W
then southwest to 49° 32.572' N 123° 16.978' W
then northwest to 49° 32.574' N 123° 17.345' W
then to the beginning point    
Lost Reef

Lost Reef

That portion of Subarea 28-2 that lies inside a line that:

begins at 49° 29.801' N 123° 18.059' W
then northeast to 49° 29.857' N 123° 17.957' W
then southeast to 49° 29.651' N 123° 17.737' W
then southwest to 49° 29.633' N 123° 17.885' W
then to the beginning point    
Brunswick Point

Brunswick Point

That portion of Subarea 28-2 that lies inside a line that:

begins at 49° 28.384' N 123° 15.181' W
then northeast to 49° 28.479' N 123° 14.987' W
then southeast to 49° 28.417' N 123° 14.870' W
then southwest to 49° 28.315' N 123° 15.038' W
then to the beginning point    
Lions Bay

Lions Bay

That portion of Subarea 28-2 that lies inside a line that:

begins at 49° 27.483' N 123° 15.611' W
then northeast to 49° 27.499' N 123° 15.420' W
then southeast to 49° 27.239' N 123° 15.347' W
then southwest to 49° 27.227' N 123° 15.536' W
then to the beginning point    
Kelvin Grove

Kelvin Grove

That portion of Subarea 28-2 that lies inside a line that:

begins at 49° 27.268' N 123° 15.047' W
then northeast to 49° 27.290' N 123° 14.639' W
then southwest to 49° 27.036' N 123° 14.715' W
then southwest to 49° 27.032' N 123° 15.037' W
then to the beginning point    
Halkett Point

Halkett Point

That portion of Subarea 28-2 that lies inside a line that:

begins at 49° 26.771' N 123° 18.823' W
then northeast to 49° 26.912' N 123° 18.660' W
then southeast to 49° 26.879' N 123° 18.594' W
then southwest to 49° 26.722' N 123° 18.700' W
then to the beginning point    
Bowyer Island

Bowyer Island

That portion of Subarea 28-2 that lies inside a line that:

begins at 49° 24.403' N 123° 16.282' W
then northeast to 49° 24.737' N 123° 16.113' W
then southeast to 49° 24.676' N 123° 15.911' W
then southwest to 49° 24.274' N 123° 16.106' W
then to the beginning point    
Dorman Point

Dorman Point

That portion of Subarea 28-2 that lies inside a line that:

begins at 49° 22.485’ N 123° 19.259' W
then southeast to 49° 22.472' N 123° 19.191' W
then southwest to 49° 22.391' N 123° 19.268' W
then northwest to 49° 22.416' N 123° 19.321' W
then to the beginning point    
Voluntary Avoidance Areas

Voluntary Avoidance Areas

Date modified: