Vol. 150, No. 26 — June 25, 2016

Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Marine Protected Areas Regulations

Statutory authority

Oceans Act

Sponsoring department

Department of Fisheries and Oceans

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive summary

Issues: The proposed Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Marine Protected Area (see footnote 1) (ANMPA) has been identified as an ecologically important area that provides critical habitat for Arctic char, cod, beluga whales, ringed and bearded seals, polar bears, as well as sea birds. In the open-water season, near shore waters in the proposed ANMPA provide migratory and feeding habitat for Arctic char and other anadromous fish species (fish that migrate from the sea to fresh water to spawn), while offshore waters in the proposed ANMPA support a variety of marine invertebrates, fish, marine mammals and birds. During winter, the sea ice in the proposed ANMPA provides breeding and feeding habitat for polar bears and seals, while polynyas (areas of open water within sea ice) offer critical feeding areas and promote aggregations of marine mammals and their prey. The proposed ANMPA is also culturally important for the Inuvialuit, as it supports subsistence harvesting of Arctic char, beluga, birds and other species by the community of Paulatuk, Northwest Territories (NT). The community also utilizes portions of the proposed ANMPA for travel, education and other traditional activities.

The Arctic climate is experiencing rapid change resulting in the loss of sea ice and melting glaciers. These changes are opening up new opportunities and challenges for the Arctic. For example, warming may result in an extended shipping season and the creation of new shipping routes, which in turn may make mining, oil and gas development, commercial fishing, research, and tourism more accessible across the Arctic. Increased accessibility for these types of activities in turn poses a risk to the habitat, biodiversity and ecosystem functions within the Arctic, generally, and within the proposed ANMPA, specifically.

Designating this ecologically important area as a marine protected area under the Oceans Act would help protect and conserve the important biological diversity, structural habitat, and ecosystem functions within this area.

Moreover, the designation of the proposed ANMPA under the Oceans Act is consistent with the Government of Canada’s commitment to protect 5% of Canada’s oceans by 2017 and 10% by 2020. The designation of the proposed ANMPA would result in an additional 0.04% conservation of Canada’s oceans and would also contribute to meeting the international Aichi Biodiversity Targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to which Canada agreed. The Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 seeks to conserve 10% of marine and coastal areas through marine protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures by the year 2020. Goal 14 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for the conservation of at least 10% of coastal and marine areas by 2020.

Description: The proposed ANMPA is located in proximity to Darnley Bay, within the Amundsen Gulf, near the community of Paulatuk, NT. The proposed ANMPA borders the east coast of the Parry Peninsula and surrounds Cape Parry, NT. The proposed ANMPA is located within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR), as defined by the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, which was approved, given effect and declared valid by the Western Arctic (Inuvialuit) Claims Settlement Act.

The proposed Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Marine Protected Areas Regulations (the proposed Regulations) would designate an area of approximately 2 361 km2 as a marine protected area. The proposed Regulations would set out general prohibitions to protect the marine environment, and include exceptions that would allow certain activities to take place in the ANMPA that would not compromise the conservation objectives of the proposed ANMPA.

Cost-benefit statement: The incremental benefits of the proposed ANMPA are largely related to conserving and protecting unique and productive ecosystems. Marine protected areas generally have been demonstrated to function as both a refuge and a source for commercially and socially valuable marine species. When used to complement other ecosystem-based management approaches, they can serve to maintain and even enhance economic opportunities, such as fishing and tourism.

The incremental costs associated with the proposed designation of the ANMPA are estimated to be negligible. In fact, no incremental costs to commercial fisheries, shipping, marine tourism and mineral exploration and production are anticipated, as these are either already managed through existing regulatory regimes or because the activity does not take place within the boundaries of the proposed ANMPA, such as marine tourism and mineral exploration and production. There may be some costs to non-profit organizations due to the administrative requirement of submitting an activity plan; however, the present value of the annualized average costs is estimated to be less than $81. In addition, the federal government may experience additional annualized average costs of approximately $166,283 (present value) for the administration and management of the proposed ANMPA. Therefore, the total annualized average incremental cost is estimated to be approximately $166,364, with a total incremental cost over a 20-year period estimated to be approximately $1,762,460 (discounted at 7%).

A qualitative evaluation of the potential ecological, social and cultural benefits indicates that the incremental benefits of the designation of the proposed ANMPA would outweigh the estimated incremental costs.

“One-for-One” Rule and small business lens: The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply as the proposed Regulations would not impose new administrative burden costs on business. The small business lens does not apply as the expected nationwide costs of the proposed Regulations are well below the $1 million annual threshold and are not disproportionately higher on small business.

Background

Discovery

In 2008, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) received funding under the Health of the Oceans Initiative (see footnote 2) to establish a new marine protected area in the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area. (see footnote 3)

Subsequently, a Site Selection Advisory Committee composed of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC), (see footnote 4) the Inuvialuit Game Council (IGC), (see footnote 5) the Fisheries Joint Management Committee (FJMC), (see footnote 6) and DFO was formed to identify a marine area within the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area that required conservation measures. Through consultation, the Site Selection Advisory Committee identified three potential marine areas requiring additional conservation measures near the communities of Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour and Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories (NT). These three sites were then screened against selection criteria based on ecological, social, economic, and cultural factors. As a result, the area adjacent to the community of Paulatuk, NT, was identified as the best candidate for designation as a marine protected area. After reviewing the results of the evaluation, the three communities agreed to support the establishment of the Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Area of Interest (ANAOI) as a possible marine protected area under the Oceans Act. In October 2010, DFO officially identified the ANAOI as a potential site for marine protected area designation.

Ecological significance

The proposed ANMPA is an ecologically important area, providing critical habitat for a variety of species such as Arctic char, cod, beluga whales, polar bears, ringed seals, bearded seals and a variety of birds. It is home to the only thick-billed murre colony in the western Canadian Arctic. Many species, such as Arctic char and beluga, use Darnley Bay for feeding.

In the open-water season, near shore waters provide migratory corridors and feeding habitat for Arctic char and other anadromous fish species, while offshore areas support a variety of marine invertebrates, fish, mammals and birds. During winter, the sea ice provides breeding and feeding habitat for polar bears and seals, while polynyas (see footnote 7) offer critical feeding areas and promote aggregations of marine mammals and their prey.

Socio-economic significance

The community of Paulatuk, NT, with a population of approximately 300 people, has a strong connection to the land and sea, which is vital to their health and well-being. The Inuvialuit actively harvest marine resources throughout the proposed ANMPA, with two thirds of the adult population engaged in hunting and fishing. Harvesting activities not only provide an important source of food, but also a means of passing traditional knowledge and skills to the youth of the community.

Due to the remoteness of the proposed ANMPA, tourism is currently limited to visitors to the nearby Tuktut Nogait National Park of Canada, to paddlers using the neighbouring rivers, and, very rarely, to cruise ships. The vast majority of the shipping within the proposed ANMPA is for community resupply by barge of, for example, fuel and building or household supplies.

Hunting, fishing and trapping are major economic activities for the residents of Paulatuk, NT, especially because of scarce employment opportunities and limited wages in the public and private sectors in the area. The community depends heavily on harvesting activities for the majority of the foods consumed. No commercial fishing currently takes place within the proposed ANMPA, so the current level of catches in the area is very low.

There has been no recent petroleum exploration activity in the area, and no economically viable mineral deposits have been found within the proposed ANMPA. There is, however, current interest in mineral exploration and potential future extraction of minerals on land located on the Parry Peninsula, adjacent to the proposed ANMPA. Darnley Bay Resources Limited and Diadem Resources Limited own the mineral tenure related to this onshore gravity anomaly (i.e. a site that potentially contains a large mineral complex).

Issues

The Arctic climate is experiencing rapid environmental changes resulting in new socio-economic opportunities and challenges for the Arctic region. For example, warming may result in an extended shipping season or create new shipping routes, which in turn may facilitate access to mining, oil and gas exploration and development, increased commercial fishing opportunities, research, and tourism across the Arctic. Increased accessibility for these types of activities poses a risk to the habitat, biodiversity and ecosystem functions within the Arctic and within the proposed ANMPA, specifically.

The proposed marine protected area (MPA), which is approximately 2 361 km2 in size, has been identified as an ecologically important area from the perspective of both science and Inuvialuit traditional knowledge. The proposed Regulations would provide proactive, long-term and comprehensive protection to this ecologically important marine area, consistent with the purposes of section 35 of the Oceans Act, and would allow for the proper management of human-induced pressures that would otherwise adversely impact the ecologically significant components of the area.

Objectives

The intent of the proposed Regulations is to protect the marine ecosystem, species and ecological processes in the proposed ANMPA so as to achieve its conservation objectives. This would be done through the prohibition of certain human activities in the proposed ANMPA while allowing specific activities that are consistent with its conservation objectives.

There are two conservation objectives for the proposed ANMPA:

  1. To maintain the integrity of the marine environment offshore of the Cape Parry Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) so that it is productive and allows for higher trophic level feeding by ensuring that the Cape Parry polynyas and associated sea-ice habitat, and the role of key prey species (e.g. Arctic cod), are not disrupted by human activities; and
  2. To maintain the habitat to support populations of key species (i.e. beluga, Arctic char, ringed and bearded seals).


The first conservation objective applies to the northern Cape Parry portion of the proposed ANMPA. The second objective was based on traditional and local knowledge and applies to the east side of Parry Peninsula. This would be the first Oceans Act marine protected area to have a conservation objective based on traditional and local knowledge.

Description

The Regulations are being proposed under Canada’s Oceans Act and would designate the Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Marine Protected Area.

MPA boundaries

The proposed Regulations would establish the boundaries of the proposed ANMPA and identify the activities (e.g. scientific research and monitoring, or educational activities) that may be allowed to occur within those boundaries. The proposed ANMPA borders the east coast of the Parry Peninsula, near the community of Paulatuk, NT. The boundary stretches northward and surrounds the highly productive area around Cape Parry, NT. The proposed MPA would consist of the following components, below the low-water line:

A map of the proposed ANMPA is provided in Annex 1.

Prohibitions

The proposed Regulations would prohibit any activity that disturbs, damages, destroys in the ANMPA, or removes from the ANMPA any living marine organism or any part of its habitat.

Exceptions

The proposed Regulations would include exceptions to allow specific activities to occur within the proposed ANMPA. These activities would be allowed through specific exceptions to the prohibitions in the Regulations, some of which would require the approval of activity plans by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

1. Fishing

The following fishing activities would be allowed in the MPA:

2. Vessel navigation

Vessel navigation carried out in accordance with the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act would be allowed in the proposed ANMPA.

3. Dredging

Dredging would be allowed in the ANMPA if the following conditions are met:

  1. Dredging is required to enable navigation for the purpose of supplying goods to the community of Paulatuk, NT (dredging for any other purpose would not be allowed in the MPA); and
  2. A recommendation on the dredging has been made in accordance with the Inuvialuit Final Agreement and the dredging is authorized by a competent government authority.
4. Public safety, national defence, national security, law enforcement or emergency response

Throughout the proposed ANMPA, activities carried out for the purpose of public safety, national defence, national security, law enforcement or responding to an emergency would be allowed to occur. Such activities may include emergency search and rescue, oil spill response, response to shipping or aircraft accidents, national security requirements, response to an incident resulting in the release of unauthorized hazardous waste, etc.

5. Scientific research, monitoring, educational and commercial marine tourism activities

Scientific research, monitoring, educational, or commercial marine tourism activities would be allowed to occur within the proposed ANMPA if

  1. the proponent submits an activity plan to DFO containing descriptive information on the proposed activity; and
  2. the activity plan is approved by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans based on conditions established in the Regulations included to ensure that these activities do not compromise the achievement of the MPA conservation objectives.

In an activity plan, the proponent would be required to include information relating to (1) the name and contact information of the individual or organization responsible for the proposed activity; (2) the vessel to be used to carry out the activity; (3) proposed dates of entry into and exit from the proposed ANMPA; (4) the location of the proposed activity; (5) a list of any substances that may be deposited during the proposed activity in the MPA; (6) a description of the proposed activity and its purpose; (7) a description of any study, report or other work that is anticipated to result from the proposed activity, and its anticipated date of completion; (8) a description of any scientific research, monitoring, educational or commercial marine tourism activity that the person has previously carried out or anticipates carrying out in the MPA; (9) a description of any measures to be taken to monitor, avoid, minimize or mitigate any adverse environmental effects of the proposed activity; and (10) a description of any measure to be taken to avoid interfering with fishing activities carried out in accordance with the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.

Marine scientific research and monitoring activities

Scientific research and monitoring would be allowed to occur in the proposed ANMPA if the activity plan meets the conditions outlined in the proposed Regulations and is approved by the Minister. Specifically, these conditions are that the proposed activity will

  1. not likely destroy the habitat of any living marine organism in the MPA;
  2. not interfere with fishing activities carried out in accordance with the Inuvialuit Final Agreement; and
  3. serve to
    • — increase the knowledge of the biodiversity, habitat and ecosystem function of the MPA,
    • — assist in the management of the MPA, or
    • — assist in evaluating the effectiveness of any measures taken to conserve and protect the MPA.
Commercial marine tourism and educational activities

Commercial marine tourism and educational activities would be allowed throughout the MPA if the activities meet the conditions outlined in the proposed Regulations and the Minister approves the activity plan. Specifically, these conditions are that the proposed activity

  1. will not likely result in the damage, destruction or removal of any part of the habitat of any living marine organism within the MPA;
  2. serve to increase public awareness of the MPA; and
  3. not interfere with fishing activities carried out in accordance with the Inuvialuit Final Agreement.
Cumulative impacts

The Minister must not approve an activity plan for a scientific research or monitoring activity, educational activity or commercial marine tourism activity if the cumulative environmental effects of the proposed activity, in combination with any other past and current activities carried out within the MPA, are likely to adversely impact the biological, chemical or oceanographic processes that maintain or enhance the biodiversity, structural habitat or ecosystem function of the MPA.

Deleterious substance

The Minister must not approve an activity plan for a scientific research or monitoring activity, educational activity or commercial marine tourism activity if any deleterious substance (within the meaning of subsection 34(1) of the Fisheries Act) may be deposited during the proposed activity, unless the deposit of the substance is authorized under subsection 36(4) of the Fisheries Act.

Timeline for approval

The Minister must approve or deny an activity plan within 60 days after the day on which the plan is received. Amendments could be made to the activity plans at any time by the proponent, after which, the Minister would again have 60 days to approve or deny the plan after the day the amended plan is received.

Studies and data

In order to assist in the continued conservation and protection of the proposed ANMPA, when an activity plan is approved, the person who submitted the activity plan would be required to provide the Minister with a copy of any study, report, other work, or data that results from the activity that is related to the conservation and protection of the MPA. A copy of the study, report or other work, and accompanying data would have to be provided to the Minister within 90 days of the completion of the study, report or other work. If the study, report or other work is not completed within a period of three years from the last day of activity, the person would be required to submit the data that was obtained from the activity to the Minister within 90 days after that period.

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

There are currently a number of non-regulatory management measures that exist in the proposed ANMPA. These measures provide strategies and recommendations for the conservation and protection of certain species within the proposed ANMPA, as well as lands and waters adjacent to the community of Paulatuk.

For example, the Hornaday River (located outside the proposed ANMPA) was commercially fished from 1968 to 1986, but the fishery was closed in 1987 due to the decline in commercial catches. As a result, all potential commercial fisheries taking place in that area are advised to follow the strategies and recommended actions for the sustainable use of marine and coastal fisheries resources set out by the Beaufort Sea Integrated Fisheries Management Framework, (see footnote 8) adopted in 2014.

In addition to the existing fisheries management framework, the Beaufort Sea Beluga Management Plan (2013) provides guidelines and information to assist decision makers for the Beaufort Sea. This plan also identifies most of the proposed ANMPA as an area requiring protection for beluga whales, and makes recommendations for a number of marine activities. Similarly, the subsistence fishery of Arctic char has continued and has been monitored annually under the guidance of the Paulatuk Char Management Plan, a voluntary measure in place to protect the char population in the area that includes recommendations for harvest guidelines for the Hornaday River, as well as certain areas within the proposed ANMPA. It is important to note that the existing Paulatuk Char Management Plan and the Beaufort Sea Beluga Management Plan are aimed at a single species and do not address the protection of the ecosystem and habitats for all species in the proposed ANMPA.

The Paulatuk Community Conservation Plan is another voluntary measure aimed at conserving and protecting the land and waters adjacent to the community of Paulatuk (including the waters of the proposed ANMPA). The Plan also acknowledges areas within the proposed ANMPA as ecologically important and has given the areas the highest degree of protection.

Furthermore, certain marine activities may be regulated under provisions of the Fisheries Act, the Species at Risk Act, the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and other federal legislation. However, the current level of protection and management fails to provide an appropriate level of comprehensive and enduring protection to the ANMPA ecosystem; therefore, the proposed Regulations are required in addition to the existing voluntary and regulatory mechanisms to ensure the long term protection of the highly productive area and important habitats for key species in the proposed ANMPA. A marine protected area designation is considered necessary to conserve and protect the area’s ecosystem from current and potential future pressures.

Designation of the proposed ANMPA is the best available tool to provide for the special protection of the area and is consistent with the reasons set out in subsection 35(1) of the Oceans Act.

Benefits and costs

Benefits

There is evidence in literature from around the world generally demonstrating that marine protected areas function as both a refuge and a source for commercially and socially valuable marine species through spillover effects. When used to complement other ecosystem-based management approaches, as is the case for the proposed ANMPA, they can serve to maintain and even enhance economic opportunities, such as fishing and tourism. As there are no economic activities (such as commercial fisheries, shipping, tourism, and mineral exploration and production) currently occurring in the area being proposed for designation as the ANMPA, the incremental benefits would primarily be related to conserving and protecting unique and productive ecosystems from potential future activities over the long term.

Designation of the proposed ANMPA would benefit Canadians through the safeguarding of important biological habitat for numerous marine species. Designation would serve to mitigate direct and indirect risks to key marine species and their habitat in a comprehensive, long-term, sustainable manner.

The proposed ANMPA would also contribute to existing research by improving the understanding of marine species found within the proposed ANMPA, and by providing an environmental baseline to inform future adaptive and responsible resource management. (see footnote 9)

Canadians

The measures arising from the designation of the proposed ANMPA would likely promote environmental conservation and contribute to a strong and healthy ecosystem. The proposed ANMPA provides invaluable direct and indirect services to society through maintaining ecosystem components and biodiversity in the long term. Direct ecosystem services such as subsistence fishing may be positively affected through protection of species habitat, which in turn may bring about more stability in subsistence fishing by making fish stock less vulnerable. Such benefits are anticipated to be directly captured by the community adjacent to the proposed MPA.

The communities near the proposed ANMPA and people residing elsewhere in Canada derive non-use value from the services provided by the area. Benefits of designating the proposed ANMPA are largely related to conserving and protecting unique and productive ecosystems, which may improve their value to Canadians through the continued existence and protection of unique habitats. (see footnote 10)

The designation of the proposed ANMPA would provide considerable social and cultural benefits to the people residing in the region and to the economy as a whole. Subsistence fishing contributes substantially to preserving traditional Aboriginal lifestyles in the region while serving as an important source of food. The area also helps support the passing down of traditional knowledge and skills to the youth of the community.

Fisheries

The Arctic char population in the Hornaday River and the eastern Beaufort Sea stock of beluga whales are the primary sources of subsistence harvests for the residents of Paulatuk, NT. The designation of the proposed ANMPA would have a small but long-term positive effect on the stocks of Arctic char in the neighbouring Hornaday River (and other fishing locations). Benefits would also be seen for beluga whales and other marine mammal species present in the area. (see footnote 11)

As previously stated, subsistence fishing may be positively affected through protection of habitat used by species harvested by the local community and traded throughout the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. Designation of the proposed ANMPA may bring about stability in subsistence harvests by making fish stock less vulnerable. In addition to stabilizing or increasing fish populations inside the boundaries, it may provide a similar function outside the protected area since biomass spillovers (see footnote 12) are possible. This, in turn, could result in an increase in total catch in the long term. A significant cost component in subsistence fishing is the time and fuel spent searching for fish, which could decrease as fish stocks stabilize.

The same holds true for recreational fishing, which is another direct use of the area, although the current level of recreational fishing in the area is low. Protecting the habitat and ecosystem within the proposed ANMPA through the general prohibitions may present opportunities for recreational fishing in the future. This, in turn, could result in an increase in total catch in the long term.

Cultural values

The proposed ANMPA is expected to help to preserve cultural heritage by protecting an area that supports the traditional activities and lifestyles of the residents of Paulatuk, NT. Preserving natural and cultural resources would benefit both current and future generations of Canadians as they learn about the historical and cultural values of northern Aboriginal peoples.

Costs
Government

The annualized average post-designation incremental costs of $166,283 per year, with a total incremental cost over the 20-year period estimated to be approximately $1,761,600 (discounted at 7%), would be borne by DFO. These costs would relate to the administration and management of the proposed ANMPA, including ongoing enforcement, surveillance and monitoring of activities; community engagement; and monitoring the ecosystem of the area.

Fisheries

Commercial fishing in the area has been closed since 1986 due to a population decline of Arctic char, and is unlikely to develop in the near future due to the importance of the subsistence fishery to the community. As a result, the proposed ANMPA would not impose any costs to the commercial fishing sector in the study area in the form of foregone revenue or higher costs of operation.

Fishing in the ANMPA in accordance with the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, which includes fishing for subsistence use, would be an exception to the general prohibitions. Therefore, the proposed ANMPA will not impose any costs on the subsistence fishing activities in the area in the form of foregone revenue or higher costs of operation.

Vessel navigation

Vessel navigation would continue to occur in the proposed ANMPA and would not result in any additional costs.

Scientific research, scientific monitoring, education

It is anticipated that upon designation, there will be increased interest in research within the proposed ANMPA. The proposed Regulations allow appropriate levels of access to the proposed ANMPA for such activities, contingent upon ministerial approval of an activity plan. The additional costs of the plan submission and approval process would be on average $81 annually, with a total present value estimated at $860 over a 20-year period. It is expected that these costs would be borne only by non-profit organizations, which would not trigger the “One-for-One” Rule. (see footnote 13)

Commercial marine tourism

There are currently no commercial marine tourism activities in the proposed ANMPA, and local residents from Paulatuk, NT, indicate there are no plans for such activity in the next 20 years. For the purpose of the “One-for-One” Rule, no incremental costs to commercial marine tourism are expected.

Mineral exploration and production

The only current non-renewable resource sector in the area is mining. The mineral exploration and potential future extraction is located onshore on the Parry Peninsula, adjacent to the proposed ANMPA. Currently there are two companies, Diadem Resources Limited and Darnley Bay Resources Limited, that hold mineral rights in that area. However, these rights do not overlap with the proposed MPA boundaries. These companies continue to focus on the onshore gravity anomaly located southeast of the proposed ANMPA.

“One-for-One” Rule and small business lens

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply as the proposed Regulations would not impose new administrative burden costs on business. The small business lens (see footnote 14) does not apply as the expected nationwide costs of the proposed Regulations are well below the $1 million annual threshold, and are not disproportionately high for small business.

Consultation

Interested parties, including Aboriginal groups, the territorial government, co-management bodies, community groups, industry, and conservation organizations, have been consulted in the process leading to the recommendation of the designation of the proposed ANMPA.

Area of Interest (AOI) proposal

Consultations on the identification of an “Area of Interest” in the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area were initiated in January 2008. Site selection was conducted through a collaborative process that began with the formation of the Site Selection Advisory Committee, which identified an area adjacent to the community of Paulatuk, NT. Subsequently, the area was officially identified, in October 2010, as the Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Area of Interest (ANAOI).

MPA designation

Once the area was identified as an AOI, the Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee (PHTC) joined the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC), the Fisheries Joint Management Committee (FJMC), the Inuvialuit Game Council (IGC) and DFO to form the ANAOI steering committee. Between 2010 and 2014, this committee, in consultation with the community of Paulatuk, NT, guided the development of the overview and assessment reports, the identification of the conservation objectives, the delineation of the boundary and the development of the regulatory intent for the proposed designation of the area as an MPA.

During consultations, the IRC expressed its support of the proposed marine protected area, though it noted that preserving economic development opportunities is equally important. Therefore, the boundaries of the proposed ANMPA were determined so as to not interfere with two potential deep water harbour sites, at Wise Bay and Summer’s Harbour, which may be required to support future economic development opportunities in the region. (see footnote 1)

The IGC and the FJMC are also supportive of the proposed marine protected area and have been an integral part of the ANAOI steering committee. (see footnote 2) In addition to its support of the proposed MPA, the FJMC is supportive of the requirement for activity plan approval for activities such as marine tourism operations, educational endeavours, ecosystem research and monitoring.

The PHTC and the community of Paulatuk, NT, are also supportive of the proposed ANMPA. Numerous meetings in the community were held throughout the designation process between 2010 and 2015, with participation from the Paulatuk Community Corporation, the Elders Committee, the Youth Committee, and other community members at large. These meetings enabled community involvement in the designation process, and through these meetings, the community has indicated its support, while expressing its desire for effective enforcement upon designation of the proposed ANMPA. DFO is committed to ensuring that the proposed Regulations are enforced.

The key stakeholders on the steering committee have also demonstrated their support for the designation of the proposed ANMPA through letters of support.

Key issues and concerns

Consultation with the broader stakeholder group included the territorial department, other federal departments, non-governmental organizations, industry representatives and Aboriginal groups. These groups have been engaged via email and through updates at the annual Beaufort Sea Partnership meetings regarding developmental milestones for the proposed ANMPA. The feedback received through the consultation process is summarized below by sector.

Other federal departments

Designation of the MPA is supported by other federal government departments.

In 2014, a draft regulatory intent was distributed for comments to the stakeholders, including Transport Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada, and National Defence. No comments were received from Transport Canada or Natural Resources Canada on the draft regulatory intent for the proposed Regulations. Environment Canada and National Defence will work with DFO to coordinate certain activities.

For example, the Cape Parry Migratory Bird Sanctuary lies directly adjacent to the proposed ANMPA. In an effort to coordinate the management, monitoring and research efforts in these two areas, Environment Canada will review the management and monitoring plans for the proposed ANMPA to ensure they are complementary to those for the Cape Parry Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Environment Canada is also involved in the development of a marine protected area network in the western Arctic that will increase the conservation potential of these two areas.

Further, the Department of National Defence has a North Warning System station on the Parry peninsula, adjacent to the proposed ANMPA. All related activities that may be carried out within the ANMPA would be allowed to occur under the safety and emergency exception in the MPA regulations. The Department of National Defence will also review the management plan for the proposed ANMPA to ensure that it is complementary to plans for the North Warning System station.

Government of the Northwest Territories

The Government of the Northwest Territories has been engaged about the proposed ANMPA and is supportive of the initiative.

Mining and non-renewable energy industries

No concerns were raised by the mining and non- renewable energy industries adjacent to the proposed ANMPA during the consultation process.

Diadem Resources Limited and Darnley Bay Resources Limited currently hold the mineral rights for the land adjacent to the proposed ANMPA. As there are no mineral rights overlapping with the proposed MPA boundaries, they continue to focus on the onshore gravity anomaly located southeast of the proposed ANMPA. Neither company has expressed concern over the designation of the proposed ANMPA throughout the consultation process. These companies were last consulted in 2014.

In addition to its support of the proposed ANMPA, the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines is also pleased that vessel transportation would be permitted within the proposed area (2014). It also expressed support for adaptive management of the ANMPA, which will be achieved by reviewing the management plan every five years to ensure it is effective at meeting the area’s conservation objectives.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers also provided comments on the proposed ANMPA in 2014, requesting that exceptions to the prohibitions under the proposed Regulations be added to allow for oil and gas activity (e.g. seismic surveys, oil and gas drilling, work related to pipelines) and dredging for burying of pipelines. As there is no current or expected hydrocarbon activity in the area, these exceptions are not required. The Association also recommended that a full risk assessment be done in the context of developing the management plan so as to better provide guidance over what activities would be allowed in the area. A “pathways of effects” model (see footnote 3) approach was undertaken by DFO to identify activities and associated stressors that have the potential to affect valued ecosystem components in the area. While this is not a full risk assessment, the pathway of effects model suitably identifies the risks to the proposed ANMPA. The Association also expressed its support for adaptive management of the ANMPA.

Shipping industry

Throughout the consultation process, the shipping industry did not raise any concerns regarding the proposed ANMPA as the proposed Regulations allow vessel travel and dredging of community re-supply routes. Updates on the development of the proposed ANMPA were given at the annual Canadian Marine Advisory Council meetings.

Non-governmental organizations

In 2014, the World Wildlife Fund expressed its support of the proposed approach to prohibit the use of bottom trawl within the proposed MPA. It was concerned, however, that the exception for vessel travel would be misunderstood by the public as also allowing for seismic surveys to occur in the area. It was explained that the proposed exception for vessel travel would not include any other activity than vessel navigation and that seismic activity would not be allowed in the proposed ANMPA.

Oceans North Canada has expressed its full endorsement and written a letter of support for the establishment of the proposed ANMPA, which was received by DFO in 2014.

Rationale

As outlined in the National Framework for Establishing and Managing Marine Protected Areas (1999), an overview and assessment of the area of interest was undertaken to determine the ecological, social, economic, and cultural significance of the proposed ANMPA marine environment. This information, which is summarized in the paragraphs below, has supported the development of this regulatory initiative.

The proposed ANMPA is an ecologically important area that serves as habitat for a variety of species, such as Arctic char, cod, beluga whales, polar bears, ringed seals, bearded seals, as well as a variety of birds. In the open-water season, near shore waters provide migratory corridors and feeding habitat for Arctic char and other anadromous fish species, while offshore areas support a variety of marine invertebrates, fish, mammals and birds. During winter, the sea ice provides breeding and feeding habitat for polar bears and seals, while polynyas offer critical feeding areas and promote aggregations of marine mammals and their prey. The area is also home to the only Thick-billed Murre colony in the western Canadian Arctic.

Located in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, the proposed ANMPA is a culturally rich area adjacent to the community of Paulatuk, NT. The Inuvialuit residents have a strong connection to the land and sea, which is vital to their health and well-being. The Inuvialuit actively harvest throughout the proposed ANMPA, which is an important source of food, as well as a means of passing on traditional knowledge and skills to the youth of the community.

The Arctic climate is experiencing rapid change, resulting in the loss of sea ice, melting glaciers and rising temperatures. The effects of climate change are more severe in the Arctic, compared to the rest of the planet. These changes are opening up new opportunities and challenges for the Arctic. For example, warming may open up new routes for shipping, which in turn will make mining, oil and gas development, research and tourism more accessible. These potential activities pose a risk to the habitat, biodiversity and ecosystem functions within the proposed ANMPA.

While existing management measures are in place, they do not provide a regulatory component that is needed to protect and conserve the proposed ANMPA ecosystem. Designation of the proposed ANMPA under the Oceans Act would provide a broad-based umbrella of long-term protection to safeguard the marine environment, to prevent species loss and to allow ecosystem concerns to be addressed in a comprehensive manner through proactive regulation and integrated management of stressors that would otherwise adversely impact the ecologically significant components of the area.

The designation would also enable the community of Paulatuk to have a strong voice and role in the management and monitoring of its traditional area. This role would be supported by the Inuvialuit and co-management organizations in the western Arctic.

On an international front, the designation of the ANMPA would provide Canada with international recognition for its ongoing commitment to marine protection and contribution to the achievement of international marine conservation targets.

Implementation and enforcement

An ANMPA management plan would be developed once the proposed Regulations are brought into force to provide guidance on the day to day management, governance, and monitoring of the proposed ANMPA as well as on reporting on the area. The management plan would describe public education and outreach, enforcement and compliance initiatives, as well as regulatory and non-regulatory measures. The inclusion of regulatory and non-regulatory measures is essential to ensure the continued support of other legislation, regulations and policies that contribute to the protection of this area.

The plan would address needs identified by the community of Paulatuk, co-management partners, DFO, additional partners and proponents on aspects related to the governance and the management responsibilities of the area. The plan would also describe and define the roles and responsibilities of the advisory committee that would be established to provide advice to DFO regarding the management of the proposed ANMPA, including guidelines and work plans related to the non-regulatory management components.

As the lead federal authority for the proposed ANMPA, DFO would have overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with, and enforcement of, the proposed Regulations. This would be undertaken through the Department’s enforcement responsibilities under the Oceans Act and the Fisheries Act, and other departmental legislation regarding fisheries conservation, environmental protection, habitat protection and marine safety. Enforcement officers designated by the Minister according to section 39 of the Oceans Act would enforce the proposed management actions and proposed Regulations for these areas. Enforcement of the proposed Regulations would be dealt with under section 37 of the Oceans Act, as would any offences.

Violations of the proposed Regulations could carry penalties under section 37 of the Oceans Act of up to $500,000. Contraventions of activity approvals and conditions could also result in charges under the Fisheries Act and other applicable Canadian legislation.

Performance measurement and evaluation

A monitoring plan, aligned with the MPA management plan and the conservation objectives, would also be developed for the proposed ANMPA. The monitoring plan would include indicators, protocols, and strategies that would guide monitoring efforts to assess the efficacy of the conservation objectives of the proposed ANMPA. Both the management and monitoring plans would be reviewed every five years to assess the effectiveness of the management measures in achieving the area’s conservation objectives. The conclusions of the evaluation would determine whether the proposed Regulations are effective or require adjustment to better achieve the conservation objectives. This life cycle approach to marine protected area management would improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability of the regulatory system to support the Government’s commitment to Canadians.

Contact

Christie Chute
Manager
Marine Conservation Program
Integrated Oceans Management
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
200 Kent Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0E6
Fax: 867-777-7501
Email: ANMPA@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Annex 1: Map of the Proposed Anguniaqvia Niqiqyuam Marine Protected Area

Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsection 35(3) of the Oceans Act (see footnote a), proposes to make the annexed Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Marine Protected Areas Regulations.

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Christie Chute, Manager, Marine Conservation Program, Integrated Oceans Management, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, 200 Kent Street, Room 12W127, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E6 (fax.: 867-777-7501; email: ANMPA@dfo-mpo.gc.ca).

Ottawa, May 19, 2016

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Marine Protected Areas Regulations

Interpretation

Definitions

1 (1) The following definitions apply in these Regulations.

Agreement means the Inuvialuit Final Agreement as approved, given effect and declared valid by the Western Arctic (Inuvialuit) Claims Settlement Act. (Convention)

Marine Protected Areas means the areas of the sea that are designated by section 2. (zones de protection marine)

Geographical coordinates

(2) In Schedule 1, all geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude) are expressed in the North America Datum 1983 (NAD83) reference system.

Designation

Marine Protected Areas

2 (1) The following areas of the sea are designated as the Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Marine Protected Areas:

Seabed, subsoil and water column

(2) Each Marine Protected Area consists of the seabed, the subsoil to a depth of five metres and the water column, including the sea ice, each of which is below the low-water line.

Prohibited Activities

Prohibition

3 It is prohibited in the Marine Protected Areas to carry out any activity that disturbs, damages, destroys or removes from the Marine Protected Areas any living marine organism or any part of its habitat or is likely to do so.

Exceptions

Fishing

4 Despite section 3, the following activities may be carried out in the Marine Protected Areas if no fishing gear listed in Schedule 2 is used:

Navigation

5 Despite section 3, navigation may be carried out in the Marine Protected Areas if it is carried out in accordance with the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act.

Dredging

6 Despite section 3, dredging may be carried out in the Marine Protected Areas if the following conditions are met:

Safety or emergency

7 Despite section 3, an activity may be carried out in the Marine Protected Areas if it is carried out for the purpose of public safety, national defence, national security, law enforcement or to respond to an emergency.

Activity plan

8 Despite section 3, a scientific research or monitoring activity, educational activity or commercial marine tourism activity may be carried out in the Marine Protected Areas if it is part of an activity plan that has been approved by the Minister.

Activity Plan

Submission and contents

9 Any person who proposes to carry out a scientific research or monitoring activity, educational activity or commercial marine tourism activity in the Marine Protected Areas must submit to the Minister an activity plan that contains

Approval of activity plan

10 (1) The Minister must approve an activity plan if

Approval prohibited

(2) Despite subsection (1), the Minister must not approve an activity plan if

Timeline for approval

(3) The Minister’s decision in respect of an activity plan must be made within

Studies, reports or other work

11 (1) If an activity plan has been approved by the Minister, the person who submitted the plan must provide the Minister with a copy of any study, report or other work that results from the activity and that is related to the conservation and protection of the Marine Protected Areas.

Data

(2) The study, report or other work must be accompanied by the data that was obtained during the activity.

Deadline

(3) The study, report or other work, together with the data, must be provided to the Minister within 90 days after the day on which the study, report or other work is completed.

Submission of data to Minister

(4) If the study, report or other work is not completed within a period of three years after the last day of the activity, the person must submit the data that was obtained during the activity to the Minister within 90 days after that period.

Coming into Force

Registration

12 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

SCHEDULE 1
(Subsection 1(2) and paragraphs 2(1)(a) and (b))

Anguniaqvia Niqiqyuam Marine Protected Areas

Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

SCHEDULE 2
(Section 4)

List of prohibited fishing gear

Item

Prohibited fishing gear

1

Bottom trawl

[26-1-o]