Time to protect B.C.’s unique glass sponge reefs, conservation group says

Coast Mountain News

A conservation group is calling for the government to protect a particular kind of reef unique to B.C., following a recent study that shows the “serious and immediate threats” posed by climate change and competition from the commercial fishing sector.

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-British Columbia is asking for the establishment of Marine Protected Areas for the province’s glass sponge reefs, a fragile reef that provides vital habitat for all kinds of marine animals within the Hecate Strait, Southern Strait of Georgia, Chatham Sound, and Howe Sound.

Bottom-contact fishing closures have been in place since 2015 for nine reefs in the Georgia Strait. With the discovery of five new reefs in Howe Sound last year, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) also created eight new marine refuge areas.

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