Canada takes action to protect Canadian oceans and wildlife on World Oceans Day
Wednesday, June 09 2010 @ 01:11 PM EDT
Contributed by: jkr
OTTAWA, June 8 (Xinhua) - Canadian Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea announced on Tuesday two Areas of Interest for potential designation as Marine Protected Areas under the Oceans Act to mark World Oceans Day.
At an event at the Museum of Nature, Minister Shea announced the Hecate Strait/Queen Charlotte Sound glass sponge reefs as an Area of Interest within the Pacific North Coast, and an area of rich biodiversity within the Laurentian Channel as an Area of Interest off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.
This represents another key step towards fulfilling the Government's commitment to establish a national network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA), which are protective designations for areas that significantly contribute to the health of marine ecosystems and resources, by 2012.
As part of the Health of the Oceans Initiative, the Government of Canada has already designated several MPAs, and is committed to establishing a network of MPAs by 2012. The first step in this process is the identification of an Area of Interest. The area will then undergo detailed evaluation, and public consultation before a decision is made to formally designate it as an MPA.
On behalf of Minister of the Environment Jim Prentice, Shea also announced the creation of three new National Wildlife Areas in Nunavut: Ninginganiq National Wildlife Area (Isabella Bay), the Akpait National Wildlife Area, and the Qaqulluit National Wildlife Area.