Fish were once so abundant in BC waters that Indigenous elders recall dried salmon being stacked like firewood behind the stove. But declines on the BC coast have accelerated over the last century, with marine wildlife cut in half in just four decades. Protecting the Coast and Ocean explores how we can reverse such precipitous declines.
This meticulous work catalogues not only Canadian laws and designations – marine protected areas, Indigenous protected and conserved areas, land-use measures, and zoning bylaws – but also international treaties that shape marine conservation and support collaboration. The authors analyze and compare legal tools, rating their strengths and weaknesses. In-depth case studies illustrate how each instrument has been used in practice.
Despite the impact of climate change, overfishing, and pollution, Protecting the Coast and Ocean convincingly demonstrates that legal tools are available to reverse species extinction and plan for a resilient ocean.
Stephanie Hewson is a staff lawyer in the Marine Program at West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL). Linda Nowlan is the senior director of the UBC Sustainability Initiative and an adjunct professor at the Allard School of Law. Georgia Lloyd-Smith is a staff lawyer at WCEL in both the Marine Program and the Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air, and Water Program. Deborah Carlson is the Green Communities Program lead at WCEL and an adjunct professor at the UBC Allard School of Law. Michael Bissonnette is a staff lawyer in the Marine Program at WCEL.