Canadian Oceans Protection Plan

Canadian government officials have announced plans for a
national marine protection plan aimed at support of the nation’s fisheries,
tourism and overall strengthening of Canada’s economy.

“Canada’s economy, environment and history are inextricably
linked to our coastal regions,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Nov. 7.
“The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan will make Canada a
world leader in marine safety and takes a powerful step toward co-management of
our coasts with indigenous and coastal communities, together making sure they
remain healthy, clean and safe for generations to come.”
The plan hasquick support from the Clear-Seas Centre for
Responsible Marine Shipping, an independent, not-for-profit research center in
Vancouver, British Columbia. Clear Seas provides impartial and fact-based
information about marine shipping in Canada, including risks, mitigation
measures and best practices for safe and sustainable marine shipping.
Richard Wiefelspuett, executive director of Clear Seas, said
the organization supports the expansion and strengthening of Canada’s Coast
A recent poll commissioned by Clear Seas confirms that
Canadians understand the importance of marine shipping for the economy, but
that many are concerned about the effective enforcement of marine safety
policies and procedures,” Wiefelspuett said. “A strengthened Canadian Coast
Guard is a timely response to these concerns and an important step towards safe
and responsible marine shipping on our coasts,” he said.
Clear Seas also supports the plan’s emphasis on measures
that prevent possible marine incidents from happening, including enhanced
marine traffic information sharing, new navigation aids and aerial surveillance
to improve marine safety.
Priorities of the plan include creation of a marine safety
system that improves responsible shipping and protects Canada’s waters,
restoring and protecting marine ecosystems and habitats, strengthening
partnerships and launching co-management practices with indigenous communities,
and investing in oil spill cleanup research.
The oceans protection plan was developed based on work over
the past two years between indigenous and coastal communities and various
government programs.
It is to be implemented in 2017.
A large volume of Canada’s commodities and processed good
utilized the marine transportation system, which employs some 250,000 Canadians
and injects over $25 billion into Canada’s economy.
Trudeau said as soon as 2017, Canadians will begin to see
improvements including a Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre at St. John’s, and
legislation introduced to prohibit vessel abandonment in Canadian waterways.


The new marine safety system is to include improved marine
traffic and navigation information for mariners, indigenous peoples and coastal
communities, plus enhanced resources for the Canadian Coast Guard, and funding
for new research into the impact of increased shipping on marine ecosystems and
new oil spill response methods.