Establishment of Southern Strait of Georgia Conservation Area Positive Step

Government must move more quickly to protect marine ecosystems

The announcement of the federal government to establish a national marine conservation area in the southern Strait of Georgia is a positive step, but further action must be taken to protect Canada’s marine ecosystems, according to NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic Fin Donnelly.

“I am pleased with the announcement today to protect the southern Strait of Georgia and want to congratulate the public and environmental organizations for 15 years of work on this file,” said Donnelly. “The protection of our oceans and marine habitat is a pressing environmental issue that requires immediate action from the federal government.”

Canada’s New Democrats have been calling on the federal government to do more to protect Canada’s oceans. Canada has committed to the conservation of 10 per cent of its marine areas through the establishment of an ecologically representative and well connected system of protected areas by 2020. Canada is making slow progress on this international commitment. Currently less than 1% of Canada’s oceans are protected.

“Climate change, resource extraction, overfishing and acidification are damaging ocean ecosystems throughout the world,” said Donnelly. “The federal government must invest in the future sustainability of our ocean marine systems and develop a comprehensive plan, rather than the piecemeal approach that they have had thus far.”