Frequently Asked Questions

Where is PNCIMA?

PNCIMA encompasses approximately 102,000 km2 of marine area, and occupies approximately two-thirds of the B.C. coast. North to south, PNCIMA extends from the Canada–U.S. border of Alaska to Brooks Peninsula on northwest Vancouver Island and to Quadra Island in the south. PNCIMA boundaries were determined by a mix of ecological considerations and administrative boundaries.

How was the PNCIMA Plan developed?

A Memorandum of Understanding on PNCIMA Collaborative Oceans Governance (2008) between the Government of Canada, First Nations and the Province of British Columbia provides a framework for collaboration on the PNCIMA initiative, including the establishment of a steering committee to support planning efforts.

The PNCIMA plan was been developed through consultation and collaboration with many levels of government, stakeholders, and First Nations. 

The PNCIMA plan is consistent with the approach that DFO has taken in other priority Large Ocean Management Areas such as the Beaufort Sea and the Eastern Scotian Shelf. 

A wide variety of scientific and technical reports have been produced for the PNCIMA initiative since 2003. Significant scientific work has been completed that characterizes ecosystem status and trends, marine environmental quality, and ecologically and biologically significant areas within PNCIMA.

In December 2016, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, First Nations, and the Province of B.C. signed off on the PNCIMA Plan, and will continue to work closely to implement the Plan, along with PNCIMA Governance Partners. 

What is the purpose of the PNCIMA plan? 

Under the Oceans Act, the goal of the PNCIMA planning process is to ensure sustainable human use and conserve ecological diversity of the marine area. 

To this end, the draft PNCIMA plan is a high-level, strategic document that provides a foundation for oceans management in the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area.

The PNCIMA plan provides a meaningful ecosystem-based management framework to inform other planning processes. This framework helps to identify important ecosystem priorities and values, and guide the type and scope of activities that take place in the area.

Information in the plan is available to anyone to use and it may inform other planning process or initiatives.

How will the plan be implemented?

Implementation of the plan is the shared responsibility of all signatories to the planning process and will be undertaken within existing programs and resources, where possible. The plan does not make commitments to new action, but rather sets a broad ecosystem context that can inform and guide existing work. Coordination and collaboration will be key to its successful implementation. 

Will PNCIMA influence decision-making?

A sound management plan that balances interests, is grounded by information, analysis and effective consultation and is broadly supported amongst affected parties is likely to bear influence with decision-makers. The PNCIMA plan does not establish a new regulatory framework or fetter any existing legal authorities, but recommendations that arise from the PNCIMA planning process can be considered by decision-makers as they carry out their jurisdictional responsibilities.

How will the PNCIMA process fit into existing regulatory processes? 

The PNCIMA process does not supersede existing legislation or the ability of the federal or provincial governments to carry out their regulatory activities. However, in implementing the plan, government departments and agencies can use their regulatory authorities and powers to fulfill or contribute to the objectives and management strategies contained in the plan.

What will success look like?

Successful implementation of the completed PNCIMA plan is expected to result in greater certainty and stability in oceans management; better integration and coordination of new and existing management and planning processes; sustainable management of resources; and contributions to a national network of marine protected areas (MPAs)

How does PNCIMA relate to the Marine Planning Partnership (MaPP) for the North Pacific Coast?

While the PNCIMA process has focused on developing a strategic level plan for the area, many other marine-based planning processes are under way at various scales both within and adjacent to PNCIMA. The intended role of the PNCIMA plan is to provide an overarching marine EBM framework that is available to guide marine planning and management at these other scales.

The MaPP initiative shares the same footprint as PNCIMA and both draws from, and builds on, the PNCIMA plan. For example, MaPP has adopted the EBM framework established through the PNCIMA initiative. MaPP partners are working with stakeholders and the public to develop strategies and sub–regional spatial plans that will inform the development, use and protection of marine spaces throughout the area.  The MaPP marine use plans are intended to generate more operational and localized advice for marine uses, focusing on nearshore and foreshore areas. PNCIMA and MaPP are complimentary, but deal with different issues at different scales.