Activity application for Hecate Strait / Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs MPA (HS/QCS MPA)

1. Overview

The Hecate Strait / Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs (HS/QCS) MPA was established to conserve the biological diversity, structural habitat, and ecosystem function of the glass sponge reefs. The HS/QCS MPA has three different protection zones, each with corresponding allowable activities. Refer to the Regulations and Schedules for precise requirements and coordinates.

With certain exceptions, the Regulations prohibit any activity that disturbs, damages, destroys or removes any living marine organism or any part of its habitat or is likely to do so.

Activities that may be allowed to occur in the MPA are listed under the ‘exceptions’ section of the Regulations and include:

  • Certain types of fishing in the adaptive management and vertical adaptive management zones, according to prescribed Regulations;
  • Vessel navigation in the adaptive and vertical adaptive management zones, according to prescribed Regulations;
  • Laying, maintenance or repair of cables in the adaptive management zones, according to prescribed Regulations; and
  • Activities carried out for public safety, national defence, national security, law enforcement, or in response to an emergency.

Scientific research or monitoring, or educational activities may be allowed to occur within the MPA. The proponent must submit an activity plan to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) for Ministerial approval. The conditions for approval are outlined in the MPA Regulations.

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