Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Amid ongoing concerns over Marine Protected Area Network plans, Lax Kw'alaams host survey with results to be forwarded to DFO and other partners

The Northern Shelf Bioregion one of a number of protected
areas being considered as part of a DFO/Indigenous program

The Lax Kw'alaams Band is still expressing its concerns over plans towards the development of Marine Protected areas along the North Coast area, a topic that was the subject of an October gathering at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

The Band outlined its position on the plans through their Social Media stream last week

"Lax Kw'alaams Fisheries is continuing to push back on decisions that would impact the livelihoods of our people in the marine. The Northern Shelf Bioregion Marine Protected Area Network (NSB MPA) is racing forward and our team continue to be very concerned. 

There was an open house at the Prince Rupert Civic Arena in October, and our membership who were able to attend were very concerned and upset that so much has been done without their knowledge or input. 

Please read the brief, and if possible, please fill out the survey below (via survey monkey) and please feel free share this far and wide."

The Survey which was created by DFO is being used by Lax Kw'alaams towards better understanding  pf how the community feels about plans for the Marine Protected Area Network for  future reference by their consultation team.

The Marine Protected Area Network is a partnership between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and seventeen First Nations up and down the coast and on Haida Gwaii.

“The ocean waters of B.C. have been a source of food and prosperity for First Nations communities over countless generations,. Unfortunately, our waters are increasingly threatened by new development, overfishing, pollution and climate change. Now more than ever, we need to work together on solutions that go beyond short-term measures and single species approaches. A network of marine protected areas is an important tool that will help make our coastal ecosystems and communities more resilient for all future generations.” -- Christine Smith-Martin,  CEO of Coastal First Nations

As DFO and its partners explain. it: Marine Protected Areas are used around the world to protect and conserve marine habitats and species. They help regions recover from stressors, protect and conserve ecological values, and create ecological, cultural, social and economic benefits for the entire area. 

The Northern Shelf Network would combine federal, provincial, and Indigenous marine management tools to protect and conserve key habitats, species, and areas of cultural importance to First Nations. The new cohesive network would also support economic security in the region, as ecosystem and biodiversity threats are reduced and greater resource sustainability achieved. 

The engagement process with members of all of those nations and the communities around them began in September.

More notes  on Fishery themes is available here, while our Archive of items from Lax Kw'alaams can be explored here.

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