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Marine protected areas not all good, says Cowichan Bay fisherman by ROBERT BARRON January 14,2020   |  Source: Cowichan Valley Citizen

Lance Underwood has come to the conclusion that the federal government’s plans for new marine protected areas are not as advertised.

Underwood, a fisherman in Cowichan Bay, sits on the advisory panel for the creation of the marine protected areas and has many concerns about the need for them on the west coast, and their implications for the fisheries.

“We are now approaching the year 2020, and after two years of engaging with government and environmental groups, we have seen a draft design of this Marine Protected Area Network,” he said.


“It is vast, running from central Vancouver Island all the way to Alaska, that will potentially remove thousands of fishermen from these productive and diverse fishing grounds. But the question is, how will it protect Canada’s oceans?”

MPAs are parts of the ocean that legally protect a range of species, habitats and features from the impacts of a variety of activities, including many aspects of fishing.

To date, Canada has established 14 MPAs under the Oceans Act, three National Marine Conservation Areas, one marine National Wildlife Area, and 59 marine refuges.

These areas now protect almost 14 per cent of Canada’s marine and coastal areas.

“The federal government has been very public with their plans to

 

© 2020, Cowichan Valley Citizen and Black Press Group Ltd.

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