A New Marine Regulatory Regime on BC’s North and Central Coast?

March 2, 2016
Denise Mullen

This issue of the Environment and Energy Bulletin reviews recent and prospective developments on the north and central coast, and considers some implications for the flow of goods and resources that underpin the regional and provincial economy. It also sets out a few key principles that we believe should underpin a stable coastal regulatory regime that supports sustainable economic growth.

This edition of Environment and Energy Bulletin was co-authored by Karen Graham, Consultant to the Business Council on Public Policy and Research and Denise Mullen, Director, Environment and Sustainability, Business Council of British Columbia.


  • The Great Bear Rainforest Agreement has overshadowed an equally important development in BC: the conclusion of a decade of negotiations for management and protection of the marine environment on the province’s north and central coast.
  • The resulting plans under the Marine Planning Partnership (MaPP), combined with recent DFO protections for glass sponges raise questions about a future regulatory regime along BC’s coast.
  • There has been a lack of coordination among policymakers and regulators and too little engagement with industry on the future balance between marine protection and the assurance of transit routes for vessels and the ability to transport goods and commodities.
  • A sensible coastal regime should balance environmental and economic sustainability, incorporate long-range planning, and rest on the principles of assured access to commercial transportation routes, coastal marine environmental protection, enhanced marine safety and monitoring, and support for the growth of key export sectors.

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