A new North Coast marine plan was co-signed last week by the Haida and 10 other First Nations together with the B.C. and Canadian governments.
While not legally binding, the high-level, ecosystem-based plan provides direction for future planning over a 102,000 km2 area of ocean that stretches from the B.C. coast to the western edge of the continental shelf, and from the Alaska border to Bute Inlet, the Brooks Penninsula, and the east side of Vancouver Island.
A draft of the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA) plan was ready to sign in 2013, but according to the Council of the Haida Nation, it was delayed by disagreement with the Harper Conservative government about re-opening Haida Gwaii’s herring fishery.
“The political situation has changed significantly over the past three years,” said Haida Nation President Peter Lantin, kil tlaats ‘gaa, in a Feb. 15 press release.
“Our endorsement of the PNCIMA plan indicates our ongoing commitment to work with a Crown that is proactive and serious about resolving issues.”
The plan does not create new regulations, but it will co-ordinate future efforts of coastal First Nations, provincial and federal departments to manage a long list of marine activities.
Such activities include First Nations use of marine resources, sport and commercial fisheries, aquaculture, seafood processing, tourism, shipping, marine energy and mining, ocean tenures for log booms and other infrastructure, waste disposal, national defence, and scientific research.
To have a look at the plan, visit www.pncima.org.