Marine Protected Area Network – BC Northern Shelf

Description: Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) work towards the sustainability of the world’s oceans and address the need to mitigate the impact of multiple stressors to marine environments. Similar to terrestrial protected areas, they are used to protect critical habitat, recover endangered species, enhance local and regional fishing stocks, maintain cultural values and preserve recreational opportunities. The Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and 17 First Nations have worked together to develop an MPA network in the Northern Shelf Bioregion (top of Vancouver Island – Quadra Island/Bute Inlet – north to Canada/Alaska border). This website includes links to the MPA planning process, highlighting tools used such as MARXAN (decision support software for conservation planning) and SeaSketch (spatial planning software for oceans).

In 2014, the Canada-British Columbia Marine Protected Area Network Strategy was devised. Consistent with the National Framework for Canada’s Network of Marine Protected Areas, the strategy outlines network goals and principles for a coast-wide system of MPAs to help guide MPA establishment and regional planning initiatives. It identifies ecological, social, economic and cultural design principles for the creation of effective, functional networks in B.C.

Key Words:  Marine protection, conservation, sustainability, First Nations, federal government, provincial government, framework, strategy

Additional Resources:

Canada-British Columbia Marine Protected Area Network Strategy:



Lead Organization  MPA Network
Regional Focus  Kitimat-Stikine, Skeena/Queen Charlotte, Central Coast
Status On-going
Primary Contact
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