Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, has launched the new Canada Marine Planning Atlas (the Atlas). The Atlas is an interactive mapping tool that allows users to view and interact with data relevant to marine spatial planning. It includes data on economic, ecological and sociocultural activities that sometimes overlap in Canada’s marine spaces.
Marine spatial planning brings together all levels of government, Indigenous partners and stakeholders to shape better the objectives and future uses of marine space. It improves ocean management by ensuring our marine spaces are used in a holistic way. The impacts of human activities are considered as well as broader ecological, economic, cultural and social considerations. Coordinating how we manage ocean activities is a key factor in achieving Canada’s ambitious conservation goals of conserving 30 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2030.
As a critical tool for marine conservation in Canada, the Atlas will be featured during IMPAC5, the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress, in Vancouver, Canada, from February 3-9 2023. This global forum will bring ocean conservation professionals and leaders together to inform, inspire and act on marine protected areas.
Tools such as the Atlas help marine spatial planners in Canada manage conservation work with human activities and industries supporting the livelihoods of many coastal communities. This is a critical part of ensuring a sustainable ocean economy for everyone.
In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a historic investment of $976.8 million over five years to protect the health of Canada’s oceans and to reach ambitious targets of conserving 25 per cent of our oceans by 2025, and 30 per cent by 2030.
(Image from Fisheries and Oceans Canada)