Acronyms & Glossary


British Columbia
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ecosystem-based Management
Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area
Integrated Oceans Advisory Committee
Large Ocean Management Area
Marine Planning Partnership for the North Pacific Coast
Memorandum of Understanding
Marine Protected Area
Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area


Action: An intervention undertaken to contribute to the implementation of a strategy.

Adaptive management:  A monitoring and management approach that assists in decision-making related to science-based processes. It is a prescriptive, formalized, systematic method that enables management to learn from the outcomes of implemented management actions.

Biodiversity: The variability among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.

Community: A social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government and often have common cultural and historical heritage. A community may also be defined in terms of collective interests, attitudes or sectors, such as those engaged in specific types of ocean use activities.
Identification of community boundaries still remains elusive in many cases, particularly in urban settings.

Conservation: The protection, maintenance and rehabilitation of living marine resources, their habitats and supporting ecosystems.

Cultural resource: A human work or a place that gives evidence of human activity or has spiritual, cultural or historic meaning or value. This term is applicable to the whole and the parts that make up the whole. The term may be applied to a wide range of resources, including, but not limited to, fishing areas, cultural landscapes and landscape features, archaeological areas, structures, engineering works and artifacts.

Culture: The way of life, customs, institutions and achievements of a particular nation, people or group, including behaviours, beliefs, values and symbols that they accept and that are passed along from one generation to the next.

Cumulative effects: Environmental, social and economic changes caused by the combined and incremental effects of past, present and proposed activities and events.

Drivers: Typically, human activities (e.g., oil and gas development, tourism) or results of human activities (e.g., climate change) that could impact the environment or the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of communities.

Ecological community:
An assemblage of species within a given area in which component species interact according to some ecological process (e.g., competition, predation).

Ecological integrity: Ecosystems that are self-sustaining and self-regulating. For example, they have complete food webs, a full complement of native species that can maintain their populations, and naturally functioning ecological processes (e.g., energy flow, nutrient and water cycles).

Ecosystem: A dynamic complex of plant, animal and microorganism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit.

Ecosystem-based management: An adaptive approach to managing human activities that seeks to ensure the coexistence of healthy, fully functioning ecosystems and human communities. The intent is to maintain those spatial and temporal characteristics of ecosystems such that component species and ecological processes can be sustained and human well-being can be supported and improved.

Ecosystem component: A fundamental element of the biological, physical or chemical environment which represents an explicit and tangible (i.e., measurable or observable) species, habitat, function, structure or other attribute. Ecosystem components are dynamic and subject to fluctuations and ongoing change. Because most of these changes are not predictable based on available knowledge, they create uncertainty about the future states of the system or its reaction to exploitation and management.

Ecosystem function: The physical, chemical and biological processes or attributes that contribute to the self-maintenance of the ecosystem.

Ecosystem structure: The pattern of the interrelations of organisms in time and space.

First Nations Territories: Geographic areas claimed by individual First Nations as the area of land that they occupy and use, and that their ancestors occupied or used.

Geographic Marine Response Plan: Geographic-specific response plans for marine-related incidents. They include response strategies tailored to a specific beach, shore or waterway, and are meant to avoid or minimize impact.

Goal: Goals relate to the broad purpose and expected end result of the planning initiative, and apply to the whole plan area. They reflect broad ideals, aspirations or benefits pertaining to specific environmental, economic or social issues, and are the general ends towards which efforts are directed. Goals answer the question, “What must be accomplished to realize what we want?” They are achieved through objectives, strategies and actions.

Governance: Interactions between government, other social organizations and citizens and the structures (formal and informal) through which decisions are made.

Human well-being: Individual well-being is related to quality of life and is influenced by factors such as family relationships, health, friends and community, culture and work. Societal well-being consists of the collective well-being of individuals, the quality of the interactions that individuals have with each other and with their social and cultural institutions, and the quality of the interactions among those institutions. Well-being may be measured by indicators for work, learning, financial security, family life, housing, social participation, leisure, health, security, culture and environment.

Indicator: Quantitative/qualitative statements or measured/observed parameters that can be used to describe existing situations and measure changes or trends over time.

Integrated management: A continuous process through which decisions are made for the sustainable use, development and protection of areas and resources. Integrated management acknowledges the interrelationships among different uses and the environments they potentially affect. It is designed to overcome the fragmentation inherent in a sectoral management approach, analyze the implications of development and conflicting uses, and promote linkages and harmonization among various activities.

Invertebrates: Within the plan context includes commercially and recreationally harvested marine invertebrate species, specifically red and green urchins, octopus, crab, prawn, shrimp, clams, scallops and sea cucumber.

Local knowledge: Current knowledge held by people within a community. It can be gained by any individual who has spent considerable time on the land or water observing nature and natural processes.

Marine protected area: An area legally established to protect all or a portion of the sea surface, water column, seabed and/or associated flora, fauna and recreational, scientific, cultural and historical features, and may include an area established under Canada’s Oceans Act, National Marine Conservation Areas Act, National Parks Act, Canada Wildlife Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act, or British Columbia’s Park Act, Protected Areas of British Columbia Act, Ecological Reserve Act, Environment and Land Use Act, Land Act or Wildlife Act.

Marine protected area network: A collection of individual marine protected areas operating
cooperatively and synergistically, at various spatial scales, and with a range of protection levels that are designed to meet objectives that a single reserve cannot achieve.

Mitigation: The elimination, reduction or control of the adverse environmental effects of a designated project, and including restitution for any damage to the environment caused by those effects through replacement, restoration, compensation or any other means.

Monitoring: A continuous management activity that uses the systematic collection of data on selected indicators to provide managers and stakeholders with indicators that denote the extent of progress toward the achievement of management goals and objectives.

Natural resource system: The ecological system that provides natural resources and the socio-economic system that contributes to the extraction, delivery and processing of natural resources from which we derive benefits.

Objectives: Objectives describe a desired future state but are more specific and concrete than goals. They are the means of reaching the goals. They answer the question, “What steps are required to achieve the goal?”

Ocean acidification: A measurable reduction in ocean pH caused by increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in seawater.

Principle: A fundamental or primary basis of conduct or management underlying a system or topic.

Resilience: The capacity of a system to absorb stresses and continue functioning.

Risk: The uncertainty that surrounds future events and outcomes. It is the expression of the likelihood of an adverse ecological effect occurring as a result of exposure to one or more stressors.

Risk management: The identification, assessment and prioritization of risks, followed by the coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor and control the probability and/ or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities.

Sensitivity: The ability of an organism or part of an organism to react to a stimulus.

Stewardship: Caring for the land, ocean and associated resources so that healthy ecosystems can be passed on to future generations.

Strategy: Strategies describe “how” the desired outcome will be achieved. They answer the question “What measures or actions are required to make progress towards achieving the goals and objectives?”, and they correspond directly to the objective they serve.

Stressor: Any physical, chemical or biological entity that can induce an adverse response. Stressors may adversely affect specific natural resources or entire ecosystems, including plants and animals, as well as the environment with which they interact.

Sustainable development: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Tradition: An inherited, established or customary pattern of thought, action or behaviour (as a social custom).

Traditional knowledge: Oral and written cultural, spiritual, social, environmental, ecological and economic information, which can be passed from one person to another, from generation to generation.
Traditional knowledge is a combination of traditional environmental knowledge, traditional marine, land and resource use and traditional practices. It is a resilient process of information that is transformed and adapted to current knowledge.

Trophic structure: The feeding relationships in an ecosystem which contribute to the routes of energy flow and the patterns of chemical cycling.

Value: A social norm manifested as a result of history and culture. It is a shared understanding among people of what is good, desirable or just.

Valued ecosystem components: Elements of the natural environment that humans view as significant or valuable.

Valued socio-economic components: Elements of social-economic and cultural systems that humans view as significant or valuable.