Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy

Table of Contents

Appendix 1: Federal Tools for Establishing and Managing Marine Protected Areas

Department/ Agency Legislation Policies
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Oceans Act: The Oceans Act tasks the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with the development and implementation of a national oceans management strategy based on principles of sustainable development, integrated management and the precautionary approach. The Actdetails the responsibilities of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada in the development and implementation of integrated management plans, including the authority to recommend the establishment of Oceans Act Marine Protected Areas by regulation, to conserve and protect commercial and non-commercial fishery resources and their habitats; endangered or threatened marine species and their habitats; unique habitats; and areas of high biodiversity or biological productivity. The Act also provides the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada with a lead role in the development and implementation of a national system of marine protected areas in Canada .

Fisheries Act: The Fisheries Actprovides the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada with the authority to manage freshwater and marine fisheries throughout Canada, including providing for licensing and enforcement and provisions for closing areas to fishing, prohibiting the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat or the deposit of substances deleterious to fish.

National Framework for Establishing and Managing Marine Protected Areas: The National Framework for Establishing and Managing Marine Protected Areas describes DFO’s Marine Protected Areas program and outlines a step-by-step approach to designation which includes the selection of DFOAreas of Interest, assessment and evaluation of the Areas of Interest as a potential MPA, and, formal establishment of the MPA by regulation followed by the on-going management of the area.
Environment Canada

Canada Wildlife Act: The Canada Wildlife Act provides the authority for the acquisition of nationally significant habitats by the Minister of the Environment for the purposes of wildlife research, conservation and interpretation. The Act provides for the establishment and management of National and Marine Wildlife Areas, by regulation, to ensure the conservation and protection of key breeding, feeding, migration and over wintering sites for birds, species-at-risk and other wildlife of national importance.

Migratory Birds Convention Act: Under the Sanctuary Regulations of this Act, the Minister of Environment may establish and manage areas of major migratory bird population concentrations, such as seabird breeding colonies or the critical habitat of migratory birds at risk, for the purposes of protecting the birds and their nests from harm/harassment. Such Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBS) on federal land/areas of federal jurisdiction also afford protection to habitat.

Species at Risk Act: The Species at Risk Act provides the ministers of Environment, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada with the authority to protect nationally listed wildlife at risk from becoming extinct or lost from the wild, provides for the recovery of endangered and threatened species and encourages the management of other species to prevent them from becoming at risk. The Act also creates prohibitions to protect listed threatened and endangered species, their residences and their critical habitat. Conservation through stewardship and cooperation are at the foundation of theAct.

Migratory Bird Sanctuary Policy, Criteria and Procedures: The Migratory Bird Sanctuary Policy, Criteria and Procedures provides a set of criteria to identify suitable areas for establishing Migratory Bird Sanctuaries based on key habitat sites for migratory bird populations in Canada. The Policy also provides a uniform national process for sanctuary administration and outlines administrative procedures and other considerations.

Criteria for Selecting Candidate National Wildlife Areas: The Criteria for Selecting Candidate National Wildlife Areas outlines the context of the National Wildlife Area Program as well as Environment Canada’s role in habitat. The document provides a basis for establishing a minimum standard of national habitat importance, based on defensible biological values in keeping with Canada 's obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity and A Wildlife Policy for Canada. It also provides a basis for making decisions for the selection of new areas that are generally consistent across the country and for communicating the uniqueness and national value of areas.

Habitat Conservation Program Strategy: The Habitat Conservation Program Strategy outlines the mission and core strategies of Environment Canada in terms of habitat conservation. These include 1) the identification, designation and management of protected areas within terrestrial, fresh water, and marine ecosystems of Canada , 2) sustainable land use by demonstrating and enhancing the stewardship of habitat for migratory birds and species-at-risk and 3) advancing and communicating the science of habitat conservation.

Parks Canada

Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act: The Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act provides the Minister of the Environment with the authority to establish National Marine Conservation Areas, with the objective of protecting and conserving marine areas that are representative of the country’s ocean environments and Great Lakes, and to encourage public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of this marine heritage.

Canada National Parks Act: TheCanada National Parks Act provides the Minister of Environment with the authority to establish and manage National Parks for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the people of Canada and in a manner so as to leave them unimpaired for future generations. Several existing National Parks have a marine component.

Species at Risk Act : see Environment Canada above.

National Marine Conservation Areas Policy: Parks Canada’s National Marine Conservation Areas Policy outlines the objectives of the National Marine Conservation Areas System, criteria for identifying, selecting and assessing the feasibility of potential NMCAs. The policy also provides guidance on the contents of management plans and principles for ongoing management of the area.

Sea to Sea to Sea – Canada’s National Marine Conservation Areas System Plan: The establishment of National Marine Conservation Areas is guided by the National Marine Conservation Areas System Plan. The Plan provides a description of the 29 marine regions, and the status of system planning for each region.

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