Islanders to attend marine forum

  • Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 p.m.

The first-ever stakeholders forum for the 88,000 sq. km marine region known as the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA) is going to be held Thursday and Friday (March 26 and 27) in Richmond. The forum will bring together delegates from coastal BC, including representatives from the federal and provincial governments, First Nations, coastal communities, representatives from all marine sectors and recreation as well as non-governmental organizations.Environmental groups have been calling on Ottawa to uphold its promise to protect Canada’s oceans, in particular, the area that stretches from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the southern tip of Alaska (PNCIMA). “The Canadian government is falling short on its promise to engage conservation and management plans that will ensure the health of our oceans,” said Bill Wareham of the David Suzuki Foundation. According to the Living Oceans Society, the David Suzuki Foundation, and the Sierra Club of BC, PNCIMA is a complex system that supports many uses and interests, and “regrettably, the people who live and work in the ocean area who hold expert knowledge about PNCIMA, called stakeholders, have not been involved in the planning process to date.” Approximately 10 representatives from the Islands are attending the forum, with a total of 300 people expected.