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Canada’s ban on oil and gas in marine protected areas good step forward

Christian Fernsby |
World Wildlife Fund Canada commends the government’s move to ban oil and gas exploration, mining, dumping and bottom trawling in federal marine protected areas (MPAs), including in the newly designated Laurentian Channel.

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In June 2017, the federal government proposed regulations that would allow oil and gas development in 80 per cent of the Laurentian Channel MPA, which is used by Endangered North Atlantic right whales and porbeagle sharks, Threatened Northern wolfish and black dogfish.

In response, WWF-Canada launched a public campaign urging Canadians to demand stronger protections for the over 11,600 sq. km site.

Wildlife lovers responded, sending thousands of emails to the government asking to exclude these activities within the boundaries.

Last summer, Canadians mobilized again, this time to tell the government that oil and gas doesn’t mix with conservation and should not be permitted in any marine protected area.

These new measures clearly indicate the government listened.

Canada has a goal of protecting 10 per cent of its ocean and coastal territories by 2020, and the announcement brings it to 8.27 per cent.

WWF-Canada believes the quality of the protection is just as, if not more

mportant, than the quantity.

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