Stretching from the north tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska-BC border, the Great Bear Sea is a remarkable marine ecosystem. It is home to a dazzling array of ocean wildlife – from humpback whales and sea otters to herring, jellyfish and anemones.

These waters are located beside the Great Bear Rainforest, where precedent setting ecosystem based plans have been put in place. The Great Bear Sea is also central to the cultures and economies of communities along the coast, providing them with food, oxygen, jobs, transport corridors, recreational opportunities, and spiritual sustenance.

Like all areas of the ocean that are increasingly impacted by human activities, the Great Bear Sea is vulnerable to risks from shipping, fishing, resource extraction and the cumulative impacts from this development.

At West Coast, we are working together and supporting collaborative efforts to protect the Great Bear Sea – with the help of strong Canadian and Indigenous laws.

There’s something amazing happening in the Great Bear Sea, also known as the Northern Shelf Bioregion. This beautiful and life-sustaining region could soon be protected by Canada’s first Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network.

The MPA Network aims to safeguard these sensitive coastal waters from harmful human activities, so that marine life can recover and thrive. Building on years of collaborative marine planning led by Indigenous nations, the federal government and the Province of BC, this long-awaited network will deliver wide-ranging benefits for nature and local communities, providing lasting legal protection for the species we all love and depend on – like salmon, herring and whales.

The proposed Action Plan for the MPA Network was released to the public in Fall 2022. Find out more at:

Learn more about the Great Bear Sea and the benefits of MPAs in our video:


Top photo: Shane Stagner via Unsplash


Staff Lawyer
Staff Lawyer