Most marine refuges in Canada don’t meet globally accepted protection standards — some of which this country had a hand in creating.
That’s the finding of a new report published Wednesday by SeaBlue Canada, a coalition of six national conservation organizations that includes the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Ecology Action Centre, Oceans North, West Coast Environmental Law, and the World Wildlife Fund Canada.
While Canada has come a long way in a short time, having designated 7.9 per cent of its oceans as protected since 2015, the report shows stronger standards are needed to better protect biodiversity. SeaBlue found that only 40 per cent of the areas closed under the federal Fisheries Act met the highly protected marine refuge criteria. The other 60 per cent need improvements to meet international standards.
Even when measured against Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)’s own guidance, 27 per cent of marine refuges were unlikely to meet the criteria to be counted as protected. MORE