March 28, 2012 10:44:12
Posted By Trish Hall

In the press release Long-time adversaries find common ground to protect and reduce impacts on corals, sponges and deep-sea habitats, it was announced “For decades, British Columbia environmentalists have clashed with the groundfish bottom trawl fishing industry, but the two have come together to find common ground, and fragile ocean habitat is the big winner. The two groups have developed innovative measures to conserve corals, sponges and deep-sea habitats. These new management measures have been implemented through Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Groundfish Integrated Fisheries Management Plan. Both the environmentalists and the industry representatives agree that these unique measures represent significant progress in the management of this fishery.”

Marine Conservation Caucus members The David Suzuki Foundation and Living Oceans Society have been working closely with BC’s groundfish bottom trawling industry to develop new measures that are meant to reduce and manage the fishery’s impacts on fragile ocean habitats.

March 27, 2012 09:35:44
Posted By Trish Hall

The Marine Conservation Caucus has joined with numerous other groups and individuals in expressing their concerns about proposed changes to Section 35 of the Fisheries Act.  In a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the MCC stated that it strongly opposes the removal, or weakening, of habitat provisions in the Fisheries Act and provided an extensive list of other letters, petitions and media articles on the subject.

The letter goes on to say “Taking habitat protection out of the Fisheries Act would be a betrayal to the interests of Canadians, both because so many depend on fish but also because we all depend on clean water that the Fisheries Act helps protect. Recent polls have shown that a majority of Canadians place an extremely high value on wild salmon, and furthermore, believe that more—not less—must be done to protect salmon and salmon habitat. Sacrificing fish habitat in an attempt to expedite development for some large industries is short-sighted and dismisses the values of many Canadians.”

See the full letter and appendix for more details.

Categories: MCC Activities
March 26, 2012 10:50:46
Posted By Trish Hall

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) would like to invite you to provide comments on the draft Recovery Strategy for the Misty Lake Lentic Stickleback and Misty Lake Lotic Stickleback (Misty Lake Sticklebacks, Gasterosteus sp.).  These small freshwater fish are a species pair, which consists of a lake dwelling (lentic) and a stream dwelling (lotic) variety, both of which are listed as “Endangered” under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA).  The species distribution is limited to Misty Lake and its inlet and outlet streams on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

The draft Recovery Strategy, developed in cooperation with the Province of British Columbia and with input from technical experts, aims to promote the long-term viability of the Misty Lake Sticklebacks.  It describes the Misty Lake Sticklebacks, their ecology, and threats to their survival and habitat. It also identifies population and distribution objectives, strategies to address threats, approaches to meet recovery objectives, critical habitat for the species pair and examples of activities likely to destroy critical habitat.  Under SARA, critical habitat for aquatic species must be legally protected from destruction once it is identified. Critical habitat for the Misty Lake Sticklebacks will be protected via a SARA s. 58(1) order, or its equivalent under another Act of Parliament, which will prohibit the destruction of the identified critical habitat.

The draft Recovery Strategy, which includes a map of critical habitat, will be available online for you to review. You can submit your comments via the consultation workbook located at the above webpage or, alternatively, via email to, until April 23, 2012.  If you are unable to access the draft recovery strategy online, please email or call 604-666-1331 to request a hard copy.

March 13, 2012 04:28:56
Posted By Trish Hall

Leaked documents sent to veteran fisheries biologist, Otto Langer, reveal that proposed changes to the Fisheries Act pose a significant risk to fish habitat.  For more information see the following articles:

March 1, 2012 03:19:54
Posted By Trish Hall

The BC Ministry of Environment wants your opinion on how it can help BC’s water science community connect, analyze and synthesize water data and information in new and better ways.

Why? Because…

  • The explosion of online data availability, combined with new tools like wikis, online communities, and social networking sites are transforming the way we collaborate and how we report on the state of the environment.
  • In 2010, the Ministry of Environment hosted the BC Water Symposium that brought together over 200 leading experts who both create and use information to manage water resources and aquatic ecosystems. A key theme emerging from this groundbreaking meeting was the need to improve the flow of information and knowledge amongst water science practitioners working and living in watersheds.

The Ministry is responding by facilitating conversations about how we can work together to increase access to water data and information. You can help by participating in a focus group this March, or through our online comment form.

Key questions being asked include:

  • What data or information do you not currently have access to that you think should be more available? What would you be able to do if you had access to that data or information?
  • How can knowledge about BC’s water resources best be shared? What tools would be most useful to the BC water science community? What features would these tools have?
  • What role do different stakeholders have in improving online communication and community building?

Focus groups will be conducted remotely using webinar technology between the 5th and 13th of March. Sessions will only be about two hours long and you can take part in the comfort of your office or home.

To register your interest in taking part and any date preferences, please respond by email to. Please provide your name, title, affiliation, and location in your note. Availability is limited, so to avoid disappointment please register early for one of the following sessions:

  • Monday 5 March 2012, 10am-12pm
  • Monday 12 March 2012, 10am-12pm
  • Monday 12 March 2012, 1pm-3pm
  • Tuesday 13 March 2012, 10am-12pm

If you are not able to participate in a focus group, you can also provide feedback to the ministry through the online comment form.

And please spread the word. Forward this weblink to other water science practitioners who you feel may be interested in this topic.

For more details see the Living Water Smart website.

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