In Canada, the establishment of marine protected areas is in its infancy. Although a national marine parks policy was produced in 1986, it was not based on practical experience. Since then, further study and consultation have led to a clarification of the concept that demonstrates the differences between terrestrial national parks and the needs for marine area management.
As proposed in these new policy statements, "national marine parks" are better classified as "national marine conservation areas." These areas would have a highly protected core made up of Preservation Zones I and Natural Environment Zones II, as well as multiple-use Conservation Zones III.
As Parks Canada acquires operational experience in the establishment and management of marine conservation areas, it will be necessary to reassess elements of this policy to ensure that they are workable. Appropriate consultation will occur before any changes are made to the policy.