In 2016, the Government of Canada launched the federal $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan (OPP), a major component of which is to build meaningful Indigenous partnerships for effective marine and coastal management. The OPP presents new opportunities for First Nations engagement and co-development of marine policy and processes.
Through the Commitment to Action and Results Accord (C2AR), FNFC has partnered with Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Canadian Coast Guard to support a collaborative working relationship between the federal government and First Nations in the South Coast region of BC. This collaborative relationship aims to support (1) inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge, laws, and values in marine and coastal management, (2) capacity building and access to resources to support First Nations-driven marine initiatives, and (3) meaningful engagement in oceans research and scientific processes.
Three coordinating committees have been established to support BC First Nations Fisheries Action Plan goals for marine ecosystems and First Nations engagement in marine and coastal management, policy, and program planning:
- Marine Research and Science Coordinating Committee — Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Initiative with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).
- Ship Movement and Vessel Management Coordinating Committee — Cumulative Effects of Marine Shipping (CEMS) Initiative with Transport Canada
- Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordinating Committee — Recovery from Environmental Emergencies from Ship-Source Oil Spills Initiative with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Resources and publications
First Nations in BC and Marine and Coastal Management
Supporting First Nations communities in advancing their interests related to marine protection and management links directly to the Action Plan’s third theme, Safeguarding Habitat and Responding to Threats, which calls for First Nations to work together
Oceans Protection Plan Commitment 
OPP and Marine Management
Astrid Niemann-Zajac, Senior Manager Partnerships & Intergovernmental Relations
Marine Spatial Planning/Emergency Preparedness & Response/Cumulative Effects of Marine Shipping
Taylor Mason, Oceans Protection Plan Manager