October 16, 2018 3:10 pm
Updated: October 16, 2018 3:13 pm

Industrial activities should be prohibited in marine protected areas, says federal panel

The Canadian Press/HO-Oceans North-Laura Morse

A federal advisory panel on marine protected areas off Canada’s coasts says activities such as oil and gas exploration and bottom trawling fishing should be prohibited as protected areas are created.

The panel recommends the federal government adopt standards developed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which prohibits industrial activities in marine protected areas.

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The international standards also prohibit activities such as sea-bed mining and dumping.

In its report, the panel says it recognizes that socioeconomic needs and interests need to be considered as marine protected areas are developed, and it points to concerns raised in Atlantic provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia whose premiers said they could hinder economic development.

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The report also calls for First Nations to become fully integrated in the planning and development of marine protected areas and that Indigenous Protected Areas should be recognized in law with long-term funding.

It says Indigenous Protected Areas will play an important role in advancing Canada’s marine conservation objectives and would count toward the stated goal of protecting 10 per cent of ocean and coastal waters by 2020.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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