Canada ranks last in marine protection

Canada ranks last in marine protection

Infographic: How does the country compare when it comes to marine protected areas?


A new report reveals that China appears to be more committed to protecting its marine areas from development than Canada. In fact, when the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society looked at the 10 countries with the largest ocean estate* and ranked them according to how much of that marine area was protected, Canada came in dead last.

Though we have the world’s longest coastline, and the seventh-largest ocean estate, our nation protects just 1.3 per cent of its oceans from development, falling behind China at 1.6 per cent and Japan at 5.6 per cent. Australia and the United States have come out on top, with 33.2 per cent and 30.4 per cent protected respectively. The chart below shows how Canada is doing in comparison.


Under the International Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada has committed to protecting 10 per cent of its oceans by 2020. Currently Canada has about 12 protected areas, shown on the map below. Canada must protect nine per cent more of its oceans in the next six years in order to comply with the convention. Do you think we can pull it off?


*Ocean estate includes internal waters, territorial sea (to 12 nautical miles (nm)) and exclusive economic zone (from 12 nm to 200 nm). For more details, check out this link at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.


Canada ranks last in marine protection

  1. Well that’s certainly no surprise. In 2012 Harper cancelled the Department of Fisheries and Oceans only research programme to monitor pollutants and to assess their impact of the commercial fish stocks in the Pacific Ocean. It was in fact, the only monitoring of its kind being conducted by Canada in all three oceans that touch our shores. No doubt this was in preparation for the oil tankers that he hopes will sailing up and down the BC coast.

    What we don’t know, can’t hurt us, can it?

    • Tankers have been plying BC waters for over 70 years.

      • Not in the numbers Harper’s hoping for and the more there are the more opportunity to impact negatively on the fish stocks and the ecosystem so necessary to sustain life in the oceans.

        • There hasn’t been any significant spill or accident on the west coast since the Exxon Valdez, which was a single hulled tanker, they are all double hulled now, plus the standards of training, both initial and recurrent have improved immensely, electronic navigational equipment is also vastly improved.

          Add to that the dual escort tugs in and out of the harbours.

          9()% of the worlds goods move by marine transportation.

          • One does not have to have a significant spill to have a significant impact on fragile ecosystems. Any spills have a cumulative effect and bitumen sinks and adheres to the bottom unlike crude oil that floats and is easier to clean up. As it is the waters and shoreline of Alaska and the fish stock have still not recovered from the Exxon-Valdez. There is no way for the Canadian government to ensure the safety of even double-hull tankers or the navigational equipment or the training of any number of companies which will be flying under different flags off the BC coast.

            90% of the shipped world goods are not bitumen.

          • Crude oil is organic, it is consumed by bacteria and it seeps into the ocean on the sea bottom in places.

            The Exxon Valdez was single hulled.

            There have not been any major spills since then.

            To ship oil by tanker in or out of Canada the tanker must be registered under the national flag of an IMO white list country.

            Tankers are subject to continuous vetting inspections by several organizations including the flag state.

            More oil enters the ocean from run off out of storm sewers than any other source.

            Do you drive a car?

            Do you maintain it?

            Or are you one of those tree hugger mouth pieces who drives an oil leaking piece of crap?

            “90% of the shipped world goods are not bitumen.” No shit Sherlock, never claimed otherwise.

          • Bitumen sinks and adheres to the bottom where marine life, part of the ecosystem lives. It’s taken 35 years for oil eating microbes to start to devour the oil that was spilled n Minnesota in 1979. The Kalamazoo River bed in Michigan has to be dredged to cleanup the bitumen that sunk. Good luck dredging the ocean floor.

            No doubt Harper, Mr. “Deregulation and Voluntary Regulation” will set the regulations as well as he did for rail transport in 2011 and do as good a job inspecting the tank cars as he did with the the MM&A ones.

  2. How much of CPAWS funding comes from foreign foundations such as Tides USA?

    Do any of CPAWS funds come from OPEC countries?

    From Russia?

    Any answers CPAWS?

    • Do you have any evidence to dispute these findings? If so, post it with a link to the source. If not you’re wasting your time with your petty insinuations.

      • Under the International Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada has committed to protecting 10 per cent of its oceans by 2020. Currently Canada has about 12 protected areas, shown on the map below. Canada must protect 9 per cent more of its oceans in the next six years in order to comply with the convention.

        That is not in dispute here.

        What is, are the motives of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and many others like it throughout the world who are always looking for handouts, sometimes from sources where a serious conflict of interest has and can happen.

        You do not tell me what to do, period

        Smoking too much Budster?


        • Whatever Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s motives “is, are”, I’m sure it is not the creation and protection of parks and wilderness in Canada.
          It’s more likely they got a deal with OPEC countries to embarrass Canada into protecting 9% more of it’s ocean. After doing so Harper will realize, “oh noes! The 9% we protected was 100% our offshore oil and all of our shipping lanes!” At which point OPEC nations will never have to worry about competing with Canada again, and the principals of CPAWS will retire to their giant yachts and Caribbean compounds to count their money.

        • The motivation is irrelevant as is where CPAW gets it’s money. Without evidence to dispute their claims, you have nothing but unfounded insinuations.

          Tell you what to do? Not at all. If you want to waste your time, you’re perfectly free to do so even when you have nothing left to say and resort to name calling. Do you really think such childish antics enhance your argument or that I give a damn what personal insults you hurl at me?

          • Sorry watermelons, this is nothing but another UN socialist wealth redistribution scheme, suck it up buttercups;

            of the Convention on Biological Diversity
            United Nations Environment

            Donors replenish Global Environmental Facility, but large funding gap
            for biodiversity remains
            April 2014

            US$ 4.43 billion
            has been pledged
            by 30 donor countries for the
            Facility (GEF)
            to support
            countries’ efforts over the next four years to prevent
            degradation of the global environment.
            The announcement, made at the
            Fourth Meeting for the Sixth Replenishment of GEF Trust Fund, held in
            , Switzerland, 16

            17 April
            2014, further stated that t
            he funding will
            support projects in
            countries to tackle a broad range of th
            reats to the global environment. These threats include
            change, deforestation, land degradation, extinction of species, toxic chemicals and waste, and threats to
            ans and freshwater resources.
            The GEF is the main global mechanism to support developing countries’ to take action to fulfill their
            commitments under the world’s major multilateral environmental agreement


          • Why hasn’t Harper withdrawn Canada from this socialist conspiracy?
            Is he just too gutless to provide leadership, or is he part of the conspiracy?

          • Harper is a pragmatist, knowing that Obama is a neutered president, soon to be ball-less after the November mid terms.

            Cry me a river Lenny.

          • Ah. So, Harper hasn’t withdrawn Canada from an international convention effected 21 years ago as part of a global socialist conspiracy cuz Obama.

            Keep dancing, Boob!

          • What’s particularly impressive is that Harper didn’t withdraw Canada from this global conspiracy when Bush was president, because he foresaw the need to wait until Obama’s presidency was completed.

        • You can post a million names and addresses and make all the accusations, assumptions and insinuations you like and call everybody names as distractions, but you still have no evidence to dispute CPAW’s claims.

  3. Don’t be too quick to assume that % of ocean area under MPAs equates to improvement of the issues that MPAs are intended to address. That huge % in the USA? Most of it is around Hawaii and other Pacific islands, where very little fishing and other activity was taking place to begin with. The biggest marine reserves in the world are in the Antarctic and Indian oceans, again where they have relatively little effect because so little activity was taking place there (look up the British motivation for the Chagos marine reserve, it’s an interesting story). It is politically very smart to put in a big MPA and look like the environmental good guy (Bush’s “legacy”) but not actually impact industry because of where it is.

    Rather than focusing on % of area covered, we should be looking at end goals, like biomass of threatened species, biodiversity, limiting habitat destruction, etc. In that regard, a well-placed and well-managed 1% MPA is more effective than a poorly placed poorly managed 30% MPA. If % of area is what mattered, Canada could just stick a huge MPA in the middle of the Arctic ocean (far away from any oil reserves, of course) and look like the good guys again.

    • In 2012, Harper cancelled the one and only research project that was monitoring the effects of pollution on fish stocks in all three oceans. He has also destroyed much of the historic research data that was held in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans libraries and deemed that the only species that need preserving in our lakes and rivers are those of commercial value. Apparently he’s unaware that in order to preserve them, one needs also to preserve the food chain below them.

      Ocean fish are not only an economic plus for Canada but are a necessary part of the salt water ecosystems and not knowing that the fish you’re eating is contaminated, will not keep you from becoming ill from it.

      Regardless of where Canada stands in comparison to other countries, we’re obviously not doing enough to protect our coastal waters and cheating to make us look better is certainly not a smart solution. We’re already paying a price for our reckless treatment of the planet and killing our oceans for short term bragging rights will only raise the cost to all of us.

      To paraphrase William Congreve – ‘Hell hath no fury like Mother Nature’s scorn.’