Key to the conservation of marine ecosystems and resources in Pacific Canada is ensuring that the public interest in conservation is afforded the highest policy priority, and that conservation interests are engaged as full and equal stakeholders in fisheries management decisions.
In recent years, government agencies such as Fisheries and Oceans Canada have come to realize that the public interest in conservation must be engaged more directly. The shift is consistent with a worldwide move to involve conservationists in decision-making on fisheries matters.
In April 2003, after considerable and sustained effort by various representatives of the BC marine conservation community, major reforms in fisheries decision-making were announced. These reforms are historic, and for the first time make conservation groups full stakeholders in Fisheries and Oceans’ decisions on the West Coast.
In response to these developments, the Pacific Marine Conservation Caucus—or MCC—was established in December 2003. The Caucus was formed independently of DFO and acts as the participating environmental organizations’ main method of representing conservation interests in formal DFO advisory body consultative processes, particularly but not limited to those related to fisheries management.