The SGaan Kinghlas–Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area Management Plan

Backgrounder

About the Marine Protected Area

The SGaan Kinghlas–Bowie Seamount is located 180 km offshore of Xaayda Gwaay (Haida Gwaii), British Columbia, off the North Pacific coast. The seamount is an underwater mountain formed by volcanic activity which fosters unique oceanographic interactions that enhance the biological productivity of the area. SGaan Kinghlas–Bowie Seamount and the surrounding area have been designated by both the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada as a protected area. The Haida Nation, as represented by the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN), and the Government of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2007 that established a Management Board to facilitate the cooperative management and planning of the protected area. On April 17, 2008, the area was officially designated as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) under Canada’s Oceans Act.  

The purpose of the MPA is to conserve and protect the unique biodiversity and biological productivity of the area’s marine ecosystem, which includes the SGaan Kinghlas–Bowie, Hodgkins, and Davidson seamounts and the surrounding waters, seabed, and subsoil.

About the Management Plan

The Management Plan was collaboratively developed by the CHN and Fisheries and Oceans with input from the SGaan Kinghlas–Bowie Advisory Committee and describes a cooperative approach for MPA management. It outlines guiding principles; describes goals and objectives; identifies management tools for the area; addresses surveillance, enforcement and user compliance; and highlights education and outreach. Four implementation priorities are identified for the MPA: cooperative governance and adaptive co-management; research to support conservation outcomes; monitoring; and education and outreach.

The SGaan Kinghlas–Bowie Seamount MPA is a locally, nationally and internationally significant marine area. Cooperative management of the MPA illustrates a shared commitment by the CHN and the Government of Canada to conserve and protect our oceans.

In January 2018, the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada agreed to increase the level of protection for the sensitive benthic habitat within the MPA. To achieve this, all bottom-contact fishing within the MPA, including the Northern Seamount Sablefish trap fishery, was closed. These restrictions are a precautionary measure and are intended to continue with the implementation of this Plan by utilizing the management tools available to the parties.

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