RRAB Meeting #5, March 22, 2000

10h00 – 16h30, MARCH 22 2000

Doug Biffard – BC Parks
Cheryl Borris – Friends of Ecological Reserves
Erin Bradley – Dive Community
Howard Breen – Georgia Strait Alliance
Kelly Francis – Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Gordon Hanson – Coast Salish Sea Council
Nancy Holman — Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Dan Kukat – Sports Fishery Advisory Board (SFAB)
Lieutenant Commander Bill Laing – Department of National Defence
Angus Matthews – Lester B. Pearson College
Jim Morris – BC Parks
Marc Pakenham – Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Tom Sampson – Coast Salish Sea Council
Jennie Sparkes – Parks Canada
Brian Smiley — Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Keith Symington – Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
Dr. Anita Voss

Garry Fletcher – Lester B. Pearson College
Sean Moore – Local Marina Operators
Scott Wallace

Kevin Walker — Whale Watch Operators Association – North West

Observers:?Judith Cullington — Judith Cullington & Associates. Facilitator :Tiina Kurvits – Fisheries and Oceans Canada, National MPA Coordinator (Ottawa)

Kaaren Lewis – BC Ministry of Environment Lands and Parks, Manager of Planning

Sean MacConnachie – Fisheries and Oceans Canada


  • The Race Rock Advisory Board (RRAB) reviewed and accepted the minutes from the previous meeting.
  • Kelly Francis introduced Tiina Kurvits from Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Ottawa.
  • Marc Pakenham introduced Judith Cullington who would be acting as a facilitator in the discussion regarding recommendations.


Burning ceremony:

  • Tom Sampson thanked the members of the RRAB for participating in the burning ceremony, which helped raise the importance of maintaining respect for the resources and people. Tom discussed the importance of moving forward with restoration and protection of the area and the impacts that today’s world is having on the resources and environment. He felt that the work we are doing here today would not only have an impact on the animals and environment but on all people and most importantly their children. First Nations are the first to feel the impact of changes in the environment. He re-iterated the words of Chief Seattle that the impact we have on the environment will come back and be placed upon ourselves.
  • Angus Matthews thanked Tom for the opportunity and described his experience and that of the students from the College who participated in the ceremony.


  • Angus Matthews described the unveiling of www.racerocks.com. Two cameras are now online and can be viewed through Quicktime via the world wide web. Pearson College will be working with First Nations to further develop the First Nations component of the web site. Angus thanked the members of the RRAB who through their organizations helped support the launch of the web site.

Sports Fishery Advisory Board

  • Marc Pakenham thanked Dan Kukat for his work with SFAB and for the letter of support from them supporting the concept of a no-take MPA within the boundaries of the existing Ecological Reserve.
  • Dan Kukat indicated that his sub-committee of the SFAB had been working for the last three years to try to incorporate the view points and feeling of the over 100 000 potential anglers that could be affected by this process. He suggested that governments need to re-focus on the bigger picture of the entire environment. As an example he cited the recent case of the killer whale that was heavily contaminated with toxins. He stated that Fisheries and Oceans Canada requires more funding for field staff to address the existing negative impacts. With respect to Race Rocks it is important for his membership to have the halibut fishing spots excluded from the boundary. He will be meeting within two weeks with the SFAB and intends to table a motion to support this process so that it runs parallel to the sports fishing regulations. Dan indicated that it was important for SFAB executive that this outcome is not precedent setting and that each candidate MPA in the future be recognized as a unique area and situation. Other concerns raised by his constituents include the need for increased science and research for these areas. Finally it is important to recognize that SFAB represents predominantly occasional, recreational anglers that are fishing periodically and not necessarily commercial sports fishing operators.
  • Angus Matthews felt that it was important to recognize that the success of the MPA process at Race Rocks is based on the ongoing goodwill and cooperation of the primary users i.e. the sports fishers. He also indicated that this process can become more efficient and timely if community groups work and meet together and that the MPA process is an experiment for community groups working together for environmental protection.
  • Howard Breen agreed with the positive outcomes to-date and expressed hope that future projects will be as amiable.


  • Judith Cullington led the RRAB through the following list of recommendations.

1) Designation for Race Rocks as a MPA.

  • Tom Sampson raised the issue of treaty and implications to the process.
  • Brian Smiley raised the issue that this designation will be complimentary with the Ecological Reserve
  • Jim Morris suggested that a preface to the recommendations be included describing the existing Ecological Reserve and that MPA will not replace the Ecological Reserve. Marc Pakenham indicated that will be the case.
  • Dan Kukat suggested “…Oceans Act section 35 to compliment the existing Provincial Ecological Reserve.”
  • Consensus reached by the RRAB on recommendation.

2) Boundary recommendations for Race Rocks MPA.

  • Howard Breen indicated that the conservation community would like to have it noted that this size and type of boundary for future candidate MPA is not precedent setting.
  • Brian Smiley suggested that the recommendation as worded is correct but operationally is not necessarily reality as there are other areas within the 20 fathom line on the chart that are deeper than 20 fathoms within the proposed boundary.
  • Keith Symington indicated that despite this precedent setting event, this sort of boundary may not be useful for future candidates.
  • Consensus reached by the RRAB on recommendation.

7) Development of a traditional use study:

  • Tom Sampson agreed to recommendation if First Nations are involved in the development of the study and are supported with resources.
  • Jenny Sparkes inquired for greater clarity would the RRAB be developing this study or First Nations? Gordon Hansen indicated that he is currently working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Pearson College to develop context of study and possible outcomes including archaeological study and possible curriculum.
  • Angus Matthews suggested that the RRAB has to recognize Treaty rights somewhere the in the recommendations. Marc Pakenham indicated that Treaty rights are discussed in the pre-amble of the recommendations.
  • Dan Kukat inquired who was going to do this work and who is going to fund it? Angus Matthews indicated that Fisheries and Oceans Canada has provided the funds to the College to begin this project.
  • Tom Sampson felt that the MPA process was not tampering or delaying the Treaty process or vice versa but serving to further it.
  • Jim Morris inquired if there was a terms of reference for this project? Gordon Hansen suggested that First Nations will develop the terms of reference. Jim Morris didn’t see where BC Parks fits into the recommendation. Angus Matthews suggested that if BC Parks has funding that would be great but First Nations will be developing terms of reference and the college and government have to trust the capacity of the First Nation’s elders.
  • Brian Smiley suggested “develop terms of reference for and conduct traditional use study.”
  • Consensus reached by RRAB

3) Recommendations for vessel management guidelines & plan for Race Rocks.

  • Dan Kukat indicated that the best management practices developed by the whale watch operators association support this recommendation and possible suggested elements. He ideally would like to see reference to evolving operators’ association guidelines.
  • Kelly Francis indicated that the goal of today’s meeting was sign-off of recommendations & not necessarily the high level of detail required for the management plan
  • Erin Bradley indicated that the only difficulty from a diver’s perspective is the shoreline restriction. Shoreline restrictions have safety and logistic concerns for divers.
  • Jim Morris suggested change wording of recommendation to “will include” as opposed to “may”.
  • Howard Breen suggested that having only one set of industry guidelines to draw from could be problematic.
  • Brian Smiley suggested including “vessel management and boating guidelines”. Add plural to shoreline restriction.
  • Angus Matthews suggested using a series of voluntary guidelines be tried first. The last bullet acts as a safety valve. He suggests that the development of community voluntary guidelines will be required.
  • Roundtable discussion around voluntary guidelines.
  • Jenny Sparkes suggested that there does not need be a plan but rather a board to evaluate guidelines.
  • Kelly Francis suggested that guidelines would be modified as required.
  • Jim Morris suggested “vessel management guidelines be defined through consultation with various user groups”.
  • Marc Pakenham indicated that it is implicit in all recommendations that there is the need for education.
  • Consensus reached by RRAB

4) Recommendations for fishing activity

  • Gordon Hansen suggested changing “no-take” to a “no-take for a trial five-year period” or “and other conservation measures as recommended by the steering committee.”
  • Keith Symington indicated that he supports the idea of getting rid of the term no-take MPA.
  • Brian Smiley supports getting rid of no-take in regards to science and sampling.
  • Dan Kukat inquired if this MPA is an experiment? Jenny Sparkes responded that the creation of MPA is not an experiment but how First Nations interact and participate is the “experiment”. Gordon Hansen suggested that First Nations support conservation and suggest a 5-year period to research the effects of a MPA have on the surrounding area. Angus Matthews indicated what he understood to be as the “experiment” is having senior government recognize the role of First Nations in involvement of management at Race Rocks. The suggestion of the five-year window is to ensure that we review the goals and achievements of the MPA.
  • Howard Breen suggested that there are numerous First Nations affected by a possible designation. To this end Tom is seeking wording so that won’t prejudice other First Nations and their rights. Marc Pakenham suggested including a commitment to monitoring the effect on the resource with this conservation goal.
  • Howard Breen suggested changing “no-take” to “fully protected“.
  • Dan Kukat believes the intent is no-fishing for everybody. Existing fishery closures be expanded to a fully protected zone for the entire water column to the 20 fathom contour line
  • Keith Symington suggested “existing fishery closure be expanded within no-fishing zone with other conservation measures as recommended by the steering committee”.
  • Jim Morris indicated that under existing Ecological Reserve legislation Race Rocks Ecological Reserve is a no-take zone.
  • Brian Smiley suggested that fishing activity be monitored and reported upon routinely or in a timely fashion.
  • Suggestion to change title to “fishing and harvesting
  • Dan Kukat suggests recognizing no fishing zone to 20 fathoms as opposed to a metric measurement and MPA boundary. This wording is important point in terms of optics, credibility and recognition of sports fishers concerns about the area.
  • Final wording should be “Existing fishery and harvesting closures be expanded to a no-take zone within the 20 fathom contour line with other conservative measures as recommended by the steering committee”.
  • Consensus reached by RRAB

5) Recommendation for diving guidelines

  • Marc Pakenham indicated that Rosedale scuba diving has cited BC as one of the top ten diving cites in the World. In BC, Race Rocks is one of the best in the BC. Therefore Race Rocks is one of the best diving sites in the World.
  • Erin Bradley suggested integrating an ecological approach for divers into education package.
  • Howard Breen suggested changing bullet # 3 to “reefkeepers and other monitoring programs”.
  • Howard Breen referred to submersible activities at Hornby island and would like to see vessel management regime will address submersible activities
  • Brian Smiley suggested …education “and training”.
  • Jim Morris suggested reinforcing the no-take & no-harm concept as set out in the Ecological Reserve.
  • Include “Diving activities be reported and monitored routinely“.
  • Consensus reached by RRAB.

6) Recommendation for the educational activity & research at Race Rocks.

  • Jenny Sparkes suggested “develop spectrum of educational opportunities including internet”
  • Angus Matthews indicated that we need to clarify what is meant by managed by eco-warden. College is happy to monitor activities and participate in approval but does not want the job of regulating.
  • Keith Symington asked if research also includes links to other MPA/fishery goals. Develop learning and research opportunities where there is minimal impact on resource.
  • Jim Morris suggested having a long term plan for monitoring and research. Angus Matthews suggested that the permitting process could address competing needs.
  • Dan Kukat suggested that local marine training certification programs include a Race Rock education component.
  • Consensus reached by RRAB

8) Dredging and Dumping

  • Angus Matthews would like to see dumping include ballast water and grey water.
  • Light house outstation is currently dumping raw sewage and is therefore non-compliant – this will be addressed.
  • Bill Laing brought up that two stroke engines emit oil into the water. Marc Pakenham suggested that under current legislation we can address sewage but not oil from motors. Dan Kukat indicated that the technology required for his industry is not currently available in Canada.
  • Dan Kukat would like to see as a recommendation banning dumping of grey water.
  • Brian Smiley suggested changing “disposal” from “dumping”.
  • RRAB reached consensus

9) Exploration on non-natural resources

  • Howard Breen suggests “No additional pipelines or utility corridors“.
  • RRAB reached consensus

10) Protection of birds

  • Howard Breen inquired if there were any existing prohibitions during nesting season. Angus Matthews responded that there were self-imposed restrictions.
  • Brian Smiley suggested specifying appropriate conservation measures.
  • Dan Kukat suggested that conservation programs and measures exist in other forms and Race Rocks could be easily included in those processes (e.g. Christmas bird count).
  • Brian Smiley suggested changing title to “birds and bird habitat”.
  • Brian Smiley suggested changing to “appropriate protection area”.
  • Consensus reached by RRAB.

11) Protection of marine mammals

  • Change to “protection measures” from “conservation measures”.
  • Add bullet “Partnership with all groups for monitoring” (e.g. South Vancouver Island Whale Watchers Operations Association)
  • Jenny Sparkes suggested using eco-tourism operators as message delivery mechanism. She also suggested incorporating whale watchers operational guidelines into recommendations (develop or adapt those as required).
  • Brian Smiley suggested “develop and implement monitoring and research program“.
  • Howard Breen suggested that in all monitoring programs a review or analysis of compliance be performed.
  • Consensus reached

13) Compliance

  • Include reporting on compliance.
  • Instant reporting structure.
  • Face to face education and compliance.
  • Compliance/reporting for unorganized groups & individuals
  • Angus Matthews felt that regulatory enforcement & response are government responsibilities.
  • Angus Matthews indicated that compliance will be addressed if a human presence is maintained, e.g on-site staffing.
  • Included a recommendation for all levels of government to financially support compliance, research and education.
  • Jenny Sparkes suggested that the emphasis should be on non-regulatory approaches to voluntary compliance.
  • Howard Breen suggested that in regards to funding the First Nation guardian program may be a possible tool. He indicated that a baseline compliance database can be established on the web. Dan Kukat felt that this type of reporting mechanism may not be the most effective. Angus Matthews suggested adding a “reporting mechanism that reports to the steering committee.”
  • Dan Kukat indicated that the WWOANW totally support monitoring and compliance although once a year is not enough. He would like to see an instantaneous monitoring and compliance program be developed. He suggested the development of a compliance reporting mechanism for non-organized vessel users as well. Prefers the term best practices guidelines.
  • Consensus reached.

14) Aviation

  • Include “Helicopter by authorization only” .
  • Include “No over flights”.
  • Consensus reached

12) Governance

  • Jenny Sparkes asked if there would be a new / different advisory board. Kelly Francis responded that there would.
  • Howard Breen if new advisory board is going to require a new terms of reference , then the steering committee should have a terms of reference.
  • Cheryl Borris indicated that participation will be limited by resources. As a result government needs to ensure that capacity is maintained to ensure participation.
  • Howard Breen hopes that the goodwill of this initiative is carried over into other candidates to ensure that a network of protected areas is established.
  • Dan Kukat warned that if the advice of new advisory board is not followed, the process would be fall apart and participation and credibility would decrease.
  • Cheryl Borris reminded the RRAB that the friends of Ecological Reserve have given up their mandate of a bigger area and non- tourist area for the greater goal of establishment of a MPA.
  • Dan Kukat gave example of relationship in sports fishery where Fisheries and Oceans Canada sets vision and advisory boards implements policy.
  • Angus Matthews suggested that a steering committee has to act on a coast wide basis and is comprised of senior managers.
  • Change First Nations “representation” to First Nations “representative“.
  • RRAB reached consensus on the model.

15) Generic items

  • Overall use
  • Sustainability
  • Emergency response
    • Double hulled tankers
    • Low noise vessels
  • Doug Biffard suggested including First Nations name into the title of the MPA.
  • Angus Matthews suggested that the RRAB reconvene if the recommendations are not carried through.

Marc Pakenham will circulate revised recommendations for comments and revision before moving it up the line.

End of meeting 1620