B.C. waters now home to Canada’s largest marine protected area

The Canadian Press First Nations along British Columbia’s coast have announced with the Canadian government the designation of the country’s largest marine protected area. A statement from Fisheries and Oceans Canada says the ecologically unique ocean area is located about 150 kilometres off the west coast of Vancouver Island. It says the area spanning more than 133,000 square kilometres covers “extraordinary seafloor features,” including more than 47 underwater mountains, known as seamounts, and all of the confirmed hydrothermal vents in Canada. The department says the deep-sea vents are “biological hotpots” that support rare and unique species that are both “remarkable and culturally important.” The new designation makes it the largest marine protected area to be recognized under Canada’s Oceans Act in partnership with the Council of the Haida Nation, Nuu-chah-nulth…

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