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Canada’s Oceans: Protecting and conserving marine and coastal areas


Our Oceans

Canada's oceans are home to some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth.

What are MPAs?

Marine protected areas give our vital ecosystems a chance to survive and thrive.

Marine Refuges

It's not just about MPAs. Learn more about our other marine conservation measures.

Targets and Achievements

To date, Canada has conserved nearly 14% of its oceans!

Canada's oceans are rich and diverse. Our oceans are home to dynamic ecological features such as deep sea thermal vents, unique corals and seamounts, essential habitats for endangered species such as whales and other cetaceans, fish stocks that support productive and sustainable fisheries—the list goes on.

Canadians understand that to preserve and protect our oceans is to preserve and protect our communities. That's why the Government of Canada has committed to conserving 25 per cent of Canada's oceans, and 25 per cent of its land and freshwater, by 2025, working towards 30 per cent by 2030. Grounded in science, Indigenous knowledge and local perspectives, we're advancing collaborative approaches to work with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous governments—only by working together will we achieve our collective aims.

Healthy oceans support healthy communities, now and for generations to come.

Protecting 25% of our oceans by 2025 and 30% by 2030


Canada is an ocean nation.

Our future depends on the health of our oceans and the vast ecosystems, biodiversity, and marine life they sustain.

In 2015, less than 1% of Canada’s oceans were protected.

We promised to change that.

Today nearly 14% of Canada’s ocean territory is protected.

We’re not stopping there.

We’re working with partners to establish new marine protected areas and marine refuges.

We’re going to protect 25% of our oceans by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

Because heathy oceans support healthy communities.

They reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20%.

They sustain more fish and marine life, to support more jobs and more opportunities for Canadians.

When we protect our oceans, we’re protecting Canada’s future.

Learn more:

Oceans Management Funding Opportunities

Funding for oceans management priorities, including outreach, monitoring, stewardship and capacity building. Applications will be accepted until February 11, 2022.

Blue Economy Strategy

The World Bank defines a blue economy as one that ensures the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems.

Report on Canada’s MPAs

Effective Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are key to supporting the health and sustainability of Canada’s marine environment. The Current – Managing Oceans Act MPAs Now, For the Future provides a national overview of how Fisheries and Oceans Canada is progressing toward the effective management of Oceans Act MPAs.

Marine spatial planning

Already being used in over 75 countries around the world, marine spatial planning will enable Canada to advance a diverse array of activities and ocean uses to meet ecological, economic, and social needs. Across the globe, almost 15 per cent of the world's exclusive economic zones are now covered by approved marine spatial plans, and we've already begun laying the foundations for marine spatial planning in Canada.

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