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New Government Marine Plan to Have Major Impacts on BC Fisheries

The British Columbia Seafood Alliance (BCSA) responded today to the Northern Shelf Bioregion Network Action Plan (NAP) Endorsement by the Government of Canada and their partners at the IMPAC5 congress.

"Today's announcement by the Government of Canada flies in the face of commercial fishery advice provided by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous fish harvesters that would have met or exceeded government conservation objectives while reducing the impacts to commercial fisheries and food security," began Christina Burridge, Executive Director of the BCSA.

British Columbia currently leads Canada in marine conservation, and will soon exceed the federal target of protecting 30% of waters by 2030 with around 35% conserved and protected by the end of 2023. Furthermore, 33% of all commercial fishing licenses in BC are held by First Nations, with over 25% of commercial fishing employment being Indigenous.

"British Columbia's commercial fishing industry has already proven that we can work with government and Indigenous partners to meet common objectives. In the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area on Haida Gwaii, we worked with the Council of the Haida Nation, Parks Canada, and other industry partners to set a model for marine zoning that works for all stakeholders. Unfortunately, the NAP does not use this model," continued Burridge.

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