Source: CBC News Nova Scotia
Canada’s Ocean Playground could soon have three new marine conservation areas.
The federal Fisheries Department announced the proposed sites off the coast of Nova Scotia on Thursday, saying the move supports Ottawa’s commitment to protect 10 per cent of Canadian waters by 2020.
“Our oceans are under considerable stress from climate change, pollution and the over exploitation of certain species,” said Chris Miller, executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Nova Scotia chapter.
“This is something that will help with protecting biodiversity in the ocean.”
The Eastern Shore Islands, a dense archipelago southeast of Halifax, and the Fundian Channel-Browns Bank area on the Scotian Shelf south of Yarmouth have been identified as areas of interest for future designation.
A third area — a 36,000-square-kilometre area east of Sable Island called the Eastern Canyons — has been put forward as a new conservation area under the Fisheries Act.
“We’re asking the government to prohibit heavy industrial activities within these sites,” Miller said. “There shouldn’t be any oil and gas exploration or development, aquaculture or bottom trawling in those areas.”
Lower-impact fishing, such as lobster fishing along the Eastern Shore, should be accommodated to balance conservation with existing inshore fishing activities, he said.
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