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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greedy family’s maid overcomes them all in Surrey Little Theatre’s latest play

‘The Late Christopher Bean’ is staged at Clayton-area theatre for a month starting Jan. 23

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99 in South Surrey

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

Two-vehicle crash leads to argument in South Surrey

Police investigating after one driver left the scene

Final Four set at Surrey RCMP Classic, where a new champ will be crowned

Guildford Park beats Semiahmoo, ending Totems’ three-year championship run

City of Surrey spends $1.2M on winter maintenance – so far

Total budget of $3.7M; 7,000 tonnes of salt used

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Should winter tires be mandatory in the Lower Mainland?

ICBC dial-a-claims go up as winter storm takes toll

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Police arrest alleged known robber running down South Fraser wearing balaclava

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Dad of missing Abbotsford woman charged after allegedly exposing himself in park

Barry Shpeley charged with sexual assault and assault

Most Read