Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

June 08, 2005 10:30 ET

Ministers Regan and Dion Release Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 8, 2005) - Geoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Stephane Dion, Minister of the Environment, today released the Federal Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Strategy. The Strategy is a key deliverable of Canada's Oceans Strategy and Canada's Oceans Action Plan, which was announced on May 27, 2005.

"The Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy was outlined in broad strokes in the Oceans Action Plan," said Minister Regan. "Now, on World Oceans Day, we're putting the OAP into action. This Strategy will help us develop a coordinated federal approach to establish a comprehensive network of national marine protected areas, as well as interact more effectively with Canadians."

"It is fitting that we are able to release the Marine Protected Areas Strategy during the Canadian Environment Week, as this strategy is a key step in ensuring the future health of Canada's ocean ecosystems," said Minister Dion. "This Strategy marks the beginning of forward-looking, national discussions on the details of how, and where, we go about building a world-leading marine protected areas network that all Canadians, now and in the future, can be proud of."

"Canadians care deeply about our oceans' future," said, David McGuinty, Member of Parliament, Ottawa-South, representing Minister Dion at the announcement. "They expect their government to protect this future, and they want a role in the decisions being made about this future. In my mind, this is the most significant aspect of both the Oceans Action Plan and the Marine Protected Areas Strategy. Both initiatives are founded on the premise that Canadians deserve a say in the future of their oceans."

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada and Parks Canada each have a mandate to establish and manage marine protected areas. The Marine Protected Areas Strategy reflects a new and innovative approach toward planning for a network of marine protected areas in Canada, which will contribute to the improved health, integrity and productivity of our ocean ecosystems. It will involve:

- natural and social science research,
- ongoing management and enforcement of specific marine protected
areas, and
- consultations with Canadians and stakeholders, including
provinces, territories, First Nations and mandated Aboriginal

The building of an ecologically linked marine protected areas network will also contribute to the conservation and protection of species at risk and will help support the implementation of Canada's Species at Risk Act. Marine protected areas as conservation tools can be applied to the mandatory protection of critical habitats described in species recovery strategies and action plans.

Further information about this announcement and Canada's oceans agenda are available on the DFO Internet site at

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    (613) 990-7537
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Sujata Raisinghani
    Press Secretary, Office of the Minister
    (613) 992-3474
    Environment Canada
    Sebastien Bois
    Media Relations
    (819) 953-4016
    Environment Canada
    Brigitte Caron
    Office of the Minister
    (819) 997-6754
    Parks Canada Agency
    Josianne Jalbert
    Media Relations
    (819) 994-3023