Advisory meeting for the proposed Scott Islands marine National Wildlife Area Mar. 27-28, 2012
Environment Canada – Canadian Wildlife Service
Advisory meeting for the proposed Scott Islands marine National Wildlife Area
Mar. 27-28, 2012
Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre, Port Hardy, BC
Draft Meeting Summary
Bruce Turris (BC Seafood Alliance/Commercial Industries Caucus)
Jim McIsaac (PNCIMA Fisheries caucus)
Jake Etzkorn (Living Oceans Society)
Phil Wainwright (Regional District of Mount Waddington)
Kim Johnson (Shell Canada)
Kevin Obermeyer (Chamber of Shipping of BC/Pacific Pilotage Authority)
Sabine Jessen (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society)
Jessie Moore BC Parks
Blair Hammond (Canadian Wildlife Service, EC)
Angela Stadel (Canadian Wildlife Service, EC)
Greg Jones (Canadian Wildlife Service, EC)
Mayor Bev Parnham (District of Port Hardy)
Rob Knutson (North Vancouver Island Sport Fishing Advisory Board)
Gordie Graham (North Vancouver Island Tourism Advisory Committee)
Summary of Action Items:
Provide a summary of the consultation feedback that was received by CWS on the Regulatory Strategy. (Angela)
CWS to meet with DFO to ensure that the list of fisheries and gear types to be continued in the NWA is complete.
Provide the pdf map showing the existing bottom-trawl closure in relation to the NWA boundary.(Posted on ftp site)
Send PACMARA report to the group (Angela – posted on ftp site)
Provide update on status of the Status Report and COSEWIC process for Cassin’s Auklet. (Blair)
Provide 2011 published paper describing results of plot monitoring for seabirds in the Scott Islands, and other areas; and 2011 published paper describing rhinoceros auklet and sand lance relationships in the Cook Bank area (Greg)
Determine if it is known which species of rockfish are caught by rhinoceros auklets to feed their chicks. (Greg)
Provide CWS with any other recommendations concerning SMART objectives, or on the goals and objectives in general. (ALL)
Provide exact % of EEZ included in existing MPAs, the DFO Sponge Reef proposal, and the Scott Islands NWA proposal. (Greg)
Update ftp site with reports and pdfs of the meeting presentations and send out e-mail instructions for access to the site. (Angela)
Prepare a draft NWA management plan with preliminary objectives for review at the next advisory meeting. (Angela/Greg)
Send out a new draft terms of reference for advisory process for the NWA management planning. (Angela) Participants will also check in with their organizations to confirm new representatives.
1. Introductions and purpose of meeting
Blair Hammond opened the meeting by conveying condolences and remembrance for John Koolman and Al Huddleston.
Blair outlined that the Regulatory Strategy recently received approval to be posted for the 60 day public comment period and that the initiative has received support in Budget 2013-14.
Key meeting objectives are:
1. To provide an update on the Scott Islands NWA regulatory process and projects undertaken for 2012-13
2. To scope out engagement and process for management plan development.
2. Update on regulatory process
Angela provided an overview of key events of the past year related to the revision and consultation on the Regulatory Strategy, as well as the next steps in the process (see pdf of presentation).
Action: Angela to prepare a summary of the issues and comments regarding the NWA that were received last year, and used to revise the Regulatory Strategy package, as refresher for the group.
- The list of fisheries and gear types to be continued in the NWA may not be complete ie fisheries for sea cucumber and geoduck. Amend the Regulatory Strategy as required to ensure all fisheries and gear types that continue are included. Comment from the group: the vehicle and ultimate authority for approving fisheries rests with DFO’s Integrated Fishery Management Plans, which will catch any fisheries inadvertently not mentioned in the Regulatory Strategy.
ACTION: CWS to meet with DFO to ensure that the list of fisheries and gear types to be continued in the NWA is complete.
- Discussion about the bottom-trawl closure in relation to the NWA boundary. The footprint in some areas is smaller and it does not take into account intensity of effort.
ACTION: Provide the pdf map showing the existing bottom-trawl closure in relation to the NWA boundary. (Posted on ftp site)
- Discussion of the contract issued by the BC Ministry of Environment to PACMARA for an independent review of the NWA. This review was independent of the Government of Canada. The review provided support for the planning process undertaken for the NWA, and suggested potential improvements to data analysis and recommended strengthening the conservation measures on existing activities. Subsequent refinement of the proposed boundary incorporated the PACMARA suggestions.
ACTION: Send PACMARA report to the group (Angela – posted on ftp site)
- Discussion regarding the videos on seabirds, being prepared by the Vancouver Aquarium and whether these will be translated to French and whether they could be made available to cruise ships.
- Discussion regarding the potential listing of Cassin’s Auklet by COSEWIC. Questions about who undertakes the assessment.
ACTION: Provide update on status of the Status Report and COSEWIC process for Cassin’s Auklet. (Blair)
3. Update on 2012-13 Scott Islands NWA projects
Greg presented the approach and outcomes of the projects that were supported through the Scott Islands funding for 2012-13. These projects were intended to provide a foundation for management planning and continued monitoring for the marine area. (see pdf of presentation for the project update).
- Question/discussion on what is happening with regard to seabird population estimates. Plot monitoring of burrows is the method used and this is done every 5 years on a rotating basis with seabird colonies in BC.
ACTION: Greg to provide 2011 published paper describing results of plot monitoring for seabirds in the Scott Islands, and other areas; and 2011 published paper describing rhinoceros auklet and sand lance relationships in the Cook Bank area.
- Greg to determine if it is known which species of rockfish are caught by rhinoceros auklets to feed their chicks.
- Bruce Turris raised the recent changes to the requirements of fishing boats to record seabird bycatch. The DFO ‘hook and line coordinator’ should be consulted. Comment: Subsequent to the meeting the CWS- lead on seabird bycatch advises that even with the recent changes to requirements, it may still be worthwhile to develop and distribute a seabird identification guide; and if feasible, to initiate a seabird salvage program to aid in the onboard identification of birds that are caught, and to validate species identification.
4. NWA management plans
Angela provided an overview of the NWA management plan template and approach, as well as the policy on permitting and implications of CEA 2012. (see pdf of presentation).
- ‘Birds’ to be included in the table in the template listing features.
- Plan to clearly lay out mechanisms to authorize allowable activities in the NWA; including grandparented activities and new proposed activities.
- Ensure the Regulatory Strategy is consistent with EC’s permit policy.
- Provide summary of how CEAA 2012 handles major project proposals in marine NWA’s.
- Discuss with DFO how their research and inventory projects will be authorized in the NWA.
- Investigate how permitting of foreign, particularly USA, research vessels will be handled.
- Include use of education and information to encourage compliance Could be the most effective way of getting compliance, as on the water enforcement will always be spotty.
- Also provide information for private boaters including fishers and other commercial vessels to act as the eyes on the water – observe, record, report type of program
- Include outreach so proponents know how to apply for permits where required.
5. Goals and Objectives for the Scott islands marine NWA
Angela reviewed approach to SMART objectives and then the group walked through the goals and sub goals we already have, and provided input on what topics should be covered, what needs to be considered, and how to develop the objectives.
- Add Table of species and habitats to the detailed goals and objectives.
- Ensure consistency between BC Parks goals – objectives for the adjacent provincial lands with NWA goals for the marine.
- Goal 1.1 – clarify what constitutes a harmful impact, and consider beneficial impacts, of human activities.
- Goal 1.2 – conduct more research on the forage species being used by the seabirds including plankton – zooplankton for seabird forage and phytoplankton used by the forage fish.
- Goal 2 – needs to consider economic efficiency as a criteria;
- Needs to consider key topic area and include detailed information on topics such as bottom-impacts including intensity and locations of the activities.
- Goal 2.1 – consider current and possible future activities.
- Noted that there has been a 25% reduction in cruise ship transits, due to shift to the inside route.
- Goal 2.2 – consider emergency response planning, make use of existing processes and resources; find out MAPP emergency measures and coordinate with those.
- Goal 2.3 – Specific project suggestions include:
- Study effects of disturbance by ships on seabirds;
- Map hotspots of activities of concern;
- Consider habitat enhancements including removal of driftwood impeding seaward migration of seabird chicks and removal of predators from two islands, comment – land based projects require permits from BC Government.
- Research priorities suggested:
- Significant research and monitoring activities in the first few years to collect information for adaptive management and review of development project proposals.
- Include research on oceanographic factors affecting seabird forage, and debris transport.
- Goal 3.1 – Consider effects of debris, including plastics and driftwood, on seabirds and other species groups.
- Goal 3.2:
- Consider that effective surveillance programs must include education and outreach for others to report suspicious activities or violations – ie Observe, Record, and Report type of program.
- Consider Third-party Contracts to industry to do monitoring and surveillance.
- Goal 4.1 – Include concept of research and monitoring in context of the regional ocean ecosystems, as the NWA is affected by ocean conditions and events from well beyond the boundaries.
ACTION: Provide CWS with any other recommendations concerning SMART objectives, or on the goals and objectives in general.
ACTION: Prepare a draft NWA management plan with preliminary objectives for review at the next advisory meeting. (Angela/Greg)
6. Stakeholder engagement for developing the management plan for the Scott Islands NWA:
Open discussion on how to engage stakeholders in the process for developing the management plan.
- Continue with the general process and membership used for the Advisory Group that provided advice on development of the proposal and Regulatory Strategy.
- May be some changes to the membership as required but the Advisory Group model worked well so should be continued.
- All participants wish to stay involved to:
- Provide their expertise and perspectives to the process;
- Stay informed of the management and regulatory regime, and stay informed of the processes to authorize activities as the legislated model of prohibiting all activities unless specifically authorized still causes concern;
- Be informed of and contribute to processes leading to bi-lateral agreements with other agencies or other sectors.
- Continued involvement of local government is essential.
- Helpful to have members involved in other processes such as PNCIMA to provide coordination and information transfer.
- However keep this process only on the NWA, no expansion to include other processes or projects; to avoid spreading too thin; this works well as is.
- Contact Neil Smith in the RDMW for advice on the Regional District marine planning.
- Important to meet as a group several times a year – suggested 2 or 3 meetings annually would be good, some participants think 4 may be too many.
- BC Parks will investigate if their Parks regional planner can participate.
- The collaborative management process with First Nations was discussed; BC Parks wishes to participate in that.
- Terms of reference for the previous Advisory Group could be revised as required and be used for the new group focussed on developing the management plan.
- Important to keep giving long advance notice of meetings so participants can ensure their availability.
ACTION: Send out a new terms of reference for advisory process for the NWA management planning. (Angela) Participants will also check in with their organizations to confirm new representatives.
March 28, 2013
Port Hardy Airport
The Transport Canada National Surveillance Program (NASP) aircraft stopped in Port Hardy. Crew members gave the group guided tours in the aircraft and explained its capabilities to detect pollution in the ocean.
The Canadian Wildlife Service expert in seabirds and pollution gave a presentation and answered questions on use the plane to detect pollution events and the benefits to seabirds.
CWS provided funding for the NASP plane to conduct surveillance within the Scott Islands NWA in fiscal 2012-13.