Marine protected areas (MPAs) are like Canada’s national parks – but for the oceans. They’re essentially a space in the ocean where human activities are more strictly regulated than in the surrounding waters.
Next month, we’re embarking on an expedition to explore an MPA! With the Haida Nation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Ocean Networks Canada we will explore and protect seamounts – underwater mountains – in Canada.
Designated by both the Haida Nation and Fisheries and Oceans Canada as a protected area, our expedition will be visiting SGaan Kinghlas-Bowie Seamount MPA. We will also explore Dellwood and Explorer seamounts, which are located within the Offshore Pacific Area of Interest (AOI). This AOI contains 87 per cent of seamounts in Canada. An AOI designation is one of the first steps in creating an MPA.
The research from this expedition off the coast of British Columbia, near the islands of Haida Gwaii, will be used to establish permanent protection, like an MPA, for the Offshore Pacific AOI. As well, it will contribute to benchmark data for long-term ecosystem monitoring and scientific research.
Starting July 5, you can explore MPAs with us through livestream video and daily updates from the Northeast Pacific Seamount Expedition team on ProtectOceans.ca.