The Pacific Deepsea Oasis off Vancouver Island is an otherworldly seascape of submerged mountains and fragile coral forests lying under tens of thousands of square kilometres of open ocean. This unique area is a candidate for protection and needs your help.
Super-heated hydrothermal vents and underwater mountains provide the conditions for an abundance of sea life in the area – including the endangered North Pacific right whale and blue whale. Coastal First Nations have been stewards of this part of the ocean for millennia and must be treated as equal partners in conservation of the area through a co-governance approach.
Establishing long-term protection for this deepsea oasis is important. Threats include seabed mining and destructive fishing practices that damage the ocean floor.
The designation of the Endeavour Hydrothermal Vents Marine Protected Area in 2003 in the region was a good start, but this tiny area only represents 0.06 per cent of the total offshore area that needs protection.
We now have the opportunity to advance stronger protection for much more of the area — officially known as the Offshore Pacific Area of Interest — as part of Canada’s push to conserve at least 10 per cent of its oceans by 2020.
The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans needs to hear support from Canadians for moving forward with protection for the proposed Offshore Pacific Marine Protected Area.
Please add your voice to hundreds of others making this call for action.