Shell Canada gives up exploration rights to make way for protected area off Vancouver Island

The permits cover an offshore area more than one-and-a-half times the size of Vancouver Island.

Shell Canada Ltd. has given up it offshore exploration rights, clearing the way for the creation of Canada’s first protected marine area under the Canada Wildlife Act.

Shell voluntarily released about 50,000 square kilometres of permits in an area off northern Vancouver Island to allow for the creation of the Scott Islands marine National Wildlife Area.

The permits cover an offshore area more than one-and-a-half times the size of Vancouver Island, and while Shell Canada president Michael Crothers says the cost to the company was a few million dollars, he’s hoping for “goodwill” in exchange.

The wildlife area was established in June, and conserves a vital marine area for millions of seabirds, fish and mammals on the Pacific coast.

Even as Shell continues to explore for oil and gas globally, Crothers says they have no plans to do so off coastal B.C., particularly since the west coast has been under an exploration moratorium since 1972.

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society welcomed the announcement, which comes after nearly 17 years of consultation with federal, provincial and First Nations governments.

Related: TNG’s injunction against Taseko drilling permit in Supreme Court Monday

Related: Company cleared to start exploratory drilling in B.C. First Nations title area

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

The Tube Shack breaks world record on Cowichan River

But record for length of tubes linked together still has to be confirmed

Options presented for blue-green algae problem in Quamichan Lake

North Cowichan looking for solutions for the deadly algae

Firearm threat in Duncan leads to quick police response

Man taken to hospital without incident

Sangha denied bail in Cowichan confinement case

Sangha’s trial begins in Duncan on Jan.6

Duncan woman shares experiences abroad with Doctors Without Borders

Julia Saurazas works with Doctors Without Borders

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Islanders have new cancer screening option with $6.5 M diagnostic suite in Victoria

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Most Read