For a long time Marine Life Sanctuaries Society has actively engaged in marine reserve planning with other organizations and government processes. Unfortunately these processes have created very few actual no-take marine sanctuaries (where all fishing is restricted), since the inception of BC’s Whytecliff Park in 1993. Whytecliff Park was created by a community-led initiative along with members of the Marine Life Sanctuaries Society, the Vancouver Aquarium, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and the West Vancouver Municipality (See The Curious Case of Whytecliff Park (2012) – North Shore News)
At the time, there was a feeling that the creation of Whytecliff Park was just the start of many more Marine Sanctuaries that would soon appear on our coast. Fast forward over 20 years later, British Columbia has only three other no-take areas; Porteau Cove, components of the SGaan Kinghlass – Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area, and a small part of the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve. With these areas closed to fisheries, about 1% of Canada’s Pacific Waters are protected. As of 2008, there were a total of 161 Marine Parks in BC, accounting for about 2% of Canada’s Pacific Waters – but more than half of these are predominantly terrestrial and do not necessarily restrict any fishing (See Robb et al. (2011)). There is clearly much work to be done for Canada to meet targets to protect 10% of our coastal and marine areas.
We are building a movement for voluntary and community-managed no-take sanctuaries with the support of individuals from all across British Columbia. We did it with Whytecliff Park 20 years ago, we can do it again! Please join us and help support our vision of more Marine Life Sanctuaries on our coast
We encourage our members to voluntarily avoid fishing or harvesting of marine life in our existing Marine Parks (e.g., Rockfish Conservation Areas, Marine Conservation Areas, and other marine reserves). Visit the links below to find out information on areas near you that are currently protected to some degree (often minimally or species specific):