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

Strathcona Regional District committee wants more info on pot best practices

Electoral Area Services Committee wants staff to put together report for board

Storm dominates league following two weekend victories

Campbell River trounces Nanaimo Buccaneers and Oceanside Generals

Vancouver Island brewery re-brands again after cryptic new logo failed

Victoria-based brewers said goodbye to confusing hexagon logo

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Shelter struggles: Landlord takes over rental unit whenever visiting B.C. town

Renter’s story highlights how hard it is to find accommodation in Revelstoke

Lack of public response threatens B.C. referendum credibility

Of the few who have voted, poll finds most rejected proportional representation

Most Read