World-class seabird habitat deserves world-class protection
The federal government plans to protect the waters surrounding the Scott Islands off British Columbia's coast. But the proposed regulations will do little to protect this ecologically significant area.
You can help!
Tell Environment Canada you want stronger protections for seabirds and the habitat they depend on. The comment period closes January 30, 2017.
The Scott Islands are an archipelago of globally significant habitat for seabirds just off the northwest of tip of Vancouver Island. Over a million birds nest on these islands every year — 40 per cent of all seabirds in British Columbia! That includes half the Cassin’s auklets in the world and 95 per cent of Canada’s common murre. There’s so much zooplankton and small fish in the area, every year five to 10 million birds travel thousands of kilometers to feast there.
We’re pleased the federal government wants to create a national marine protected area around the Scott Islands. But until the proposed protections have clear regulations on fishing, vessel-based pollution, oil spills, shipping, or oil and gas exploration, the protected area will just be lines on a map.
Tell the federal government to strengthen these elements within the protected area:
- • Ban fishing that reduces prey, attracts predators or changes bird behaviour. Currently, only three fisheries are suggested for a ban; none are within the proposed boundary.
• Restrict ship passage and enforce higher penalties for fossil fuel spills that could have devastating impacts on seabirds.
• Create and enforce clear, strong regulations to limit noise and physical disturbances that disrupt seabird feeding grounds and marine mammals such as whales, sea lions and sea otters.
• Ban oil and gas exploration in the Scott Islands marine National Wildlife Area, and in all Canadian marine protected areas.
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