Lack of a Plan puts Unique B.C. Marine Mountain at Risk
“We’ve been working to get a management plan in place for this unique and vulnerable underwater ecosystem since April 2008”, says Linda Nowlan, WWF’s Pacific Conservation Director. “This is too long a wait and we have major concerns that the delay is undermining the conservation of one of the North Pacific Ocean’s most remarkable areas.”
Rising higher than Whistler Mountain, Bowie Seamount – Sgaan Kinghlas is a veritable underwater oasis in the open ocean for an astonishing abundance of marine life. The Marine Protected Area is a chain of three underwater mountains located 180-kilometres off the west coast of Haida Gwaii.
WWF’s Senior Marine Science Officer Hussein Alidina says the federal government’s own regulatory impact assessment statement issued in 2008, called for a management plan to be completed within two years of Bowie Seamount’s designation as a protected area.
“We need to assess and monitor the activities currently allowed on parts of Bowie, like fishing, boat traffic, recreation and research, to make sure these activities are not causing damage and that we’re actually achieving conservation of this unique ecosystem,” says Alidina. “We need a management plan to do this.”
Bowie Seamount is one of the shallowest and most biologically rich seamounts in the Northeast Pacific, long recognized by the Haida people as Sgaan Kinghlas, meaning ‘Supernatural Being Looking Outward’. Its unique oceanic conditions support an abundance of microscopic plants and animals.
For more information about Bowie Seamount – Sgaan Kinghlas, please visit wwf.ca
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Jo Anne Walton