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

Chilliwack students learn about business and charity during entrepreneurship fair

Mt. Slesse Grade 8 kids will be donating 20 per cent of their business profits to the food bank

Work wrapping up in Chilliwack on the Valley Rail Trail expansion

The trail is envisioned as the north-south spine of a future cycling network

Chilliwack saw sub-tropical blast of warm air Wednesday

It didn’t break any official records but it was warmer than usual by several degrees

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

GW Graham wallops Ballenas Whalers in junior football playoff

Logan Buchwitz scored four touchdowns for the Grizzlies in a one-sided 40-0 win.

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

Metro Vancouver mayors cancel Surrey LRT in favour of SkyTrain

TransLink will immediately suspend work on light rail

Lower Mainland couple missing in Thompson-Okanagan area

Barriere RCMP received a missing persons report for two senior overdue travellers

Vancouver Warriors cancel first 2 weeks of season as labour dispute continues

The announcement means games scheduled for Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 will no longer be played

Most Read