Canada-British Columbia Marine Protected Area Network Strategy

Table of Contents

  1. Complete Text
  2. Preface
  3. Introduction
  4. The Need to Plan MPA Networks
  5. What is an MPA? What is an MPA Network?
  6. Vision and Goals for a Network of Marine Protected Areas on the Pacific Coast of Canada
  7. Planning Principles
  8. Planning Regions for Marine Protected Area Networks
  9. Governance
  10. Moving Forward
  11. Appendix 1. Marine Ecosystem Stressors in the North East Pacific
  12. Appendix 2. Protected Area Legislation in Pacific Canada
  13. Appendix 3. International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Guidelines for Applying Protected Area Management Categories
  14. Background Documents and References

Planning Regions for Marine Protected Area Networks

Pacific Canada's network of MPAs will be composed of a number of smaller networks based on four high‐level spatial units or 'bioregions' that will share a common foundation, including a vision, goals and guiding principles. The details of the process for designing and implementing MPA networks may differ between bioregions to account for the unique ecological, socio-political, economic and cultural characteristics ascribed to different ecosystems and communities along BC's coast.

Four bioregions were identified for the Pacific Ocean (Figure 1) through a national science advisory process that considered oceanographic and bathymetric similarities, important factors in defining habitats and their species.

They are:

  1. a complex Northern Shelf Zone (including the Queen Charlotte Sound, the Hecate Strait, the west coast of Haida Gwaii, the Queen Charlotte Strait and Northwest Vancouver Island);
  2. the Strait of Georgia;
  3. Southern Shelf (off West Vancouver Island, which includes the Strait of Juan de Fuca); and
  4. a large Offshore Pacific Zone extending outward from the shelf break which includes the Alaska Gyre, the California Gyre and a transition zone.
Major Biogeographic Units for the Canadian Pacific Ocean


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