Bowie Seamount designated as Canada’s seventh Marine Protected Area | WWF-Canada

Bowie Seamount designated as Canada’s seventh Marine Protected Area

Posted on 21 April 2008
Today's announcement designating the area, also known as Sgaan Kinghlas, makes Bowie Seamount Canada’s seventh Marine Protected Area under the Oceans Act.

“Bowie Seamount is an oceanic oasis in the deep sea, a rare and ecologically rich marine area, and our government is proud to take action to ensure it is protected,” said Minister Lunn. “By working in partnership with the Council of the Haida Nation and groups like the World Wildlife Fund-Canada, we are ensuring this unique treasure is preserved for future generations.”

“For many years, WWF-Canada has been working with partners to protect this unique seamount chain,” said Michele Patterson, Director of the Pacific Conservation Program for WWF-Canada. “The
designation of the Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area is an excellent example of how conservation can be achieved by Federal and First Nations governments, resource users, and environmental organizations working together to protect important marine habitats both for today, and for our children tomorrow. We look forward to many more of these conservation successes in Canada.”

The Haida have long recognized this area as a special place and named it Sgaan Kinghlas, meaning Supernatural Being Looking Outward. Bowie Seamount is located 180 kilometres west of the Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) in the Northeast Pacific, off the coast of British Columbia. The new Marine Protected Area will protect a complex of three offshore seamounts – Bowie, Hodgkins and Davidson Seamounts.

“Sgaan Kinghlas represents a shift in recognizing the need for respect and care for the Earth. This is a very significant turning point in reversing the trends that have been leading to the depletion of life in the
sea,” said Guujaaw.

Bowie Seamount is one of the most biologically rich seamounts in the Northeast Pacific, due to unique oceanographic conditions that support an abundance of microscopic plants and animals, which, in turn, have contributed to Bowie’s diverse, complex ecosystem. It is fragile and vulnerable, however, and protecting it will contribute to its continued survival and that of its marine community.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada will work together with the Haida Nation, WWF-Canada, community groups and an advisory team, including the province, to effectively manage Bowie Seamount under Canada’s Federal Marine Protected Areas Strategy, and preserve the health of Canada’s oceans and marine environment.

WWF-Canada recognizes the need for managing our marine resources in a sustainable way. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) support conservation and protection of Canada’s ocean and ocean resources. If they are well planned and well managed, based on strong science and developed through consultation, MPAs can help restore fragile ecosystems. By developing networks of MPAs as part of more comprehensive integrated marine and coastal planning, we can create a long-term foundation for healthy oceans and healthy coastal economies.