National marine conservation areas policy

Parks Canada is updating its 1994 policy for national marine conservation areas (NMCAs). The new policy will:

  • Build on over 30 years of experience operating NMCAs.
  • Align with the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act (2002).
  • Reflect improved knowledge of the marine environment and increasing recognition of the value of marine protected areas.

National marine conservation areas regulations

Regulations are important management tools for NMCAs.

No regulations exist under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act. Regulations under other laws are used to manage activities like shipping and fishing within NMCAs, but regulatory gaps have been identified.

Parks Canada has begun the process to develop general regulations under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act.

Let’s talk NMCAs

In 2019, Parks Canada consulted with stakeholders and Canadians on proposed NMCA policy and regulatory changes. Parks Canada is continuing to engage with government and Indigenous organizations to finalize the policy.

Further opportunities to provide feedback on NMCA regulations will be provided through the regulatory development process.

Consultation documents
  • What we heard July 2020
    A summary of the feedback received through the 2019 consultation process.
  • Discussion paper May 2019
    Describes the proposed changes to the NMCA policy and potential areas for new regulations for Parks Canada’s NMCA program.

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