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CPAWS encouraged by Lancaster Sound announcement

The announcement this week that Inuit organizations, local communities and the Governments of Nunavut and Canada will embark on a feasibility study toward the creation of a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound was welcomed by CPAWS.

“Lancaster Sound is one of the most important ecological areas in the entire Canadian Arctic,” said Sabine Jessen, national manager, Oceans and Great Freshwater Lakes for CPAWS. “ The Inuit have sought protection of this area for a long time, and the NMCA will complement the conservation measures in place through Sirmilik national park.”

Lancaster Sound is home to astounding numbers of marine mammals and seabirds, including narwhal, belugas, bowhead whales and walrus, together with thick-billed murres and northern fulmars. It is also of strategic importance with its location at the eastern end of the fabled Northwest Passage.

“CPAWS has long advocated for the protection of this remarkable area, and in the context of climate change, it is important that Canada use conservation tools like marine conservation areas to assert sovereignty over the waters of the Northwest Passage”, said, Eric Hebert-Daly, national executive director of CPAWS.

“We hope that speedy completion of the Lancaster Sound NMCA will lead the way in establishing a network of marine protected areas across Canada’s Arctic waters, that will ensure protection of other areas of ecological significance”, added Jessen.