Editorial Exchange: It's Time to Share Marine Protection (Halifax Chronicle Herald)

The Canadian Press, July 4, 2017 | Go to article overview

Editorial Exchange: It's Time to Share Marine Protection (Halifax Chronicle Herald)


Editorial Exchange: It's time to share marine protection

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An editorial from the Halifax Chronicle Herald, published July 3:

It's time to share marine protection

Nova Scotia has already paid an upfront price for being an environmental pioneer.

So it's time to carefully consider the long-term impact of the aggressive implementation of new environmental measures and policies, including the creation of additional Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently announced the boundaries of the new St. Anns Bank Marine Protected Areas, offshore Cape Breton.

Roughly 4,400 acres in size, it will be forbidden ground for oil and gas activity.

Limited commercial fishing will be allowed on about 25 per cent of the area.

MPAs are rightly seen as ocean regenerators, areas in which marine ecosystems can thrive, and fish habitat can be protected.

That's all good.

What's puzzling is that little Nova Scotia, with its ocean-dependent economy, is being asked to bear a disproportionate share of the burden for Canada's MPA initiative.

Already, about 2.5 per cent of the province's offshore area is taken up with MPAs, compared to a national average of one per cent.

In addition, oil and gas activity is also banned on Georges Bank, even though the area has not been designated as an MPA.

This hasn't stopped DFO from looking at dozens of other prospective MPAs off this province's shores. …

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