A marine protected area (MPA)

is a “clearly defined geographical space recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.”

Photo by Janene Brierly-Green

British Columbia Northern Shelf Bioregion

The Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and many First Nations are working together to develop a marine protected area network in the Northern Shelf, which extends from the top of Vancouver Island (Quadra Island/ Bute Inlet) and reaches north to the Canada – Alaska border.

The Northern Shelf Marine Protected Area Network planning process aims to build a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) that will help to ensure that future generations will inherit the beauty and productivity of our Pacific Ocean.

The success of conserving and protecting special marine areas is a shared responsibility. We look forward to hearing from all those who work, live or have an interest in the Northern Shelf and its future as we work to complete a network of MPAs for the Pacific Coast of Canada.

Planning Process



"An ecologically comprehensive, resilient and representative network of marine protected areas that protects the biological diversity and health of the marine environment for present and future generations."

Photo by Ken Cripps


Photo by Kerry Enns


MPA Network of the Northern Shelf Bioregion is a collaborative partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of BC and many First Nations

MPA Network Government of Canada Province of BC Haida-Nation Coastal First Nations Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance Nanwakolas Counsil North Coast-Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society

Signatory First Nations

Gitxaala Nation, Metlakatla First Nation, Gitga’at First Nation, Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation, Heiltsuk Nation, Nuxalk First Nation, Wuikinuxv First Nation, Mamalilikulla Nation, Tlowitsis Nation, Da'naxda'xw Awetlala First Nation, Wei Wai Kum First Nation, and K'ómoks First Nation