Slide 1

MPA Network

Is a “collection of individual marine protected areas that operates cooperatively and synergistically, at various spatial scales, and with a range of protection levels, in order to fulfill ecological aims more effectively and comprehensively than individual sites could alone."

- Source: Canada British Columbia MPA Network Strategy

Photo by Janene Brierley-Green

Slide 1-2

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.”

- Source: Canada British Columbia MPA Network Strategy

Photo by Janene Brierley-Green

Slide 2


The Northern Shelf Bioregion Marine Protected Area Network planning process aims to build a network of MPAs that will help to ensure future generations will inherit the richness, diversity and productivity of these special marine areas.

Photo by Iain Robert Reid

Slide 3


Protection of the marine environment is of importance to many British Columbians. In particular, First Nations have distinct cultural and spiritual heritages that are intricately linked to the marine environment.

Photo by Ken Cripps

Slide 4


The waters of the Northern Shelf Bioregion support fishing, aquaculture, marine tourism and recreation, transportation, coastal forestry, commercial shipping, and more.

Photo by Barb Dinning

Slide 5


Conserving and protecting special marine areas is a shared responsibility and we need your help to shape the plan for the Northern Shelf.

Photo by Charles Short

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to review materials and provide input through the survey, map based survey, and through email submissions. Surveys closed on November 25. All input received is being reviewed for consideration. All materials will continue to be available on the website for your interest.

Please return back to the website over the coming weeks for updates on next steps.

We need the ocean. Now the ocean needs us.

Help us create a Marine Protected Area Network in the Northern Shelf Bioregion

Working together, many First Nations, the Province of British Columbia, and the Government of Canada have developed a plan for a Marine Protected Area network in the Northern Shelf Bioregion, which extends from the top of Vancouver Island (Quadra Island / Bute Inlet) and reaches north to the Canada-Alaska border.

We all share in the responsibility of conserving and protecting special marine areas. That’s why we’re looking forward to hearing from all coastal residents that have an interest in the Northern Shelf and its future as we develop a plan for a network of MPAs in British Columbia.

In the News

Network Action Plan – What we Heard Report
December 2023


MPA Network Press Release February 2023

MPA Network Media Backgrounder February 2023

NSB MPA Network Press Release Sept 15 2022
English | Francais

NSB MPA Network Media Backgrounder Sept 15 2022
English | Francais

Creating an MPA Network

Coastal First Nations–Great Bear Initiative commissioned this film to tell the story of our work with the governments of Canada and British Columbia to establish a Network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that will help secure the health of the Northern Shelf Bioregion of British Columbia’s coast.

The network of MPAs in BC’s Northern Shelf Bioregion is anticipated to be in place by mid-2021.

We thank all participants for their ongoing commitment and support.

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

Partner First Nations

Gitga’at, Gitxaala, Haisla, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, Metlakatla, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo Xai’xais, Nuxalk, Wuikinuxv, Mamalilikulla, Kwiakah, Tlowitsis, and Wei Wai Kum First Nations; and the Council of the Haida Nation.