RSC Expert Panel • Sustaining Canadian Marine Biodiversity

OTTAWA, Jan. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada's vast ocean geography carries with it global leadership and stewardship responsibilities to address stressors which threaten ocean health and marine biodiversity.  On November 26, 2009, the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) announced the commissioning of an Expert Panel, consisting of eminent scholars and chaired by Dr. Jeffrey A. Hutchings, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Marine Conservation and Biodiversity, Dalhousie University. The Panel was given a mandate to consider a large body of scientific evidence that, if summarized for the public, would be helpful to their consideration of the issue of sustaining Canada's marine biodiversity. The panel was requested to reflect on such matters as the consequences of climate change, fishing, and aquaculture on the ability of Canada's oceans to sustain marine populations and species at levels that would restore the natural resilience of ocean ecosystems and allow them to adapt in response to human and natural stressors, including global warming.  While the RSC itself does not have an opinion on these matters, the Panel was struck as a service to Canadians, who would benefit from having a careful, balanced review of the publicly available evidence in this matter of critical importance to Canada.

On February 2, 2012 the Expert Panel will release its report at a press conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Also on February 2, the report will become publicly and freely available for download on the website of the Royal Society of Canada at:

The main questions that are elaborated upon in the report include:

  • What are the past, current, and projected trends in Canadian marine biodiversity?
  • How does Canada perform with respect to our national and international commitments to protect marine biodiversity?
  • How does Canada's performance in fisheries management compare with the practices of other modernized nations?
  • How has the performance of the Department of Oceans and Fisheries compared with its pledges and policies?
  • What specific actions could the Government of Canada contemplate in order to improve the management of Canada's fisheries and the restoration and protection of Canada's marine biodiversity?

Press Conference Details 

  • Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 10:00 am PST
  • Room 420 - Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, SFU Vancouver, 580 West Hastings
  • Hard copies of the Expert Panel Executive Summary will be available onsite as of 9:30 am PST

Image with caption: "RSC Expert Panel - Sustaining Canadian Marine Biodiversity (CNW Group/Royal Society of Canada) (CNW Group/Royal Society of Canada, The)". Image available at:

SOURCE Royal Society of Canada, The

For further information:

Erika Kujawski, Senior Officer of Communications, The Royal Society of Canada, (613) 991-6990 Ext. 105, Mobile: (613) 816-4967,

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