Marine PlanningDate Posted: 2014-08-09
Why is planning and management of shíshálh marine areas important to us?
Lessons from our Ancestors
As shíshálh people, our culture and livelihood have long been tied to the ocean and its rich resources. Working with their knowledge of natural processes in their environment, our ancestors effectively managed a wide variety of resources on land and at sea.
Food, Culture & Livelihoods
From Georgia Strait to the Sechelt and Jervis Inlets and their many associated waterways, the marine areas of our territory continue to provide our people with food such as fish, shellfish, crab and prawns, as well as with employment and experience in the traditional occupations of our ancestors.
With the rapidly growing population of our region, and more people coming to live, work and visit our territory, we face new challenges in making sure that the ocean resources that we have relied on for generations continue to thrive in present and future generations.
Many of the marine plants and animals that have supported our people for generations are disappearing. The habitats that support these species are also in decline as they face increased pressures from use and from marine and shoreline development. Some fish and animals that used to be available in plenty in our territory are approaching extinction or local extirpation. Fishers acknowledge that there are not enough fish to go around. Meanwhile, shellfish that are still plentiful can often not be harvested because of contamination from chemicals and bacteria.
As our marine resources become scarcer and more vulnerable, and as more people come to use the territory´s waters and shorelines, conflicts among users and among their activities on the water become increasingly common. Careful planning can help to enable users to go about their activities with minimal impact on one another and on the environment upon which they all depend.
By working together, within the shíshálh Nation and with the many users of our territory, we can use our collective knowledge to plan and manage our marine areas and their uses effectively so that our marine environment and its resources can begin returning to health and continue to provide for all of us into the future.
The shíshálh Marine Use Plan project
Our marine environments and resources today face many pressures, which are having a growing impact on our ability to practice our culture and traditional occupations. To create a sustainable future for our people, for our culture and our for territory´s resources, we face the challenge of balancing the protection of our marine ecosystems with the cultural, ceremonial and economic needs and desires of our people, and with the needs and desires of all people who use our territory. Meeting this challenge requires a coordinated plan.
The Sechelt Indian Band has embarked on a feasibility study which lays the groundwork for the development of our own Marine Use Plan for the shíshàlh Nation territory. The process of developing this plan is based on the shíshálh Vision Statement and Guiding Principles for the Management of Lands and Resources, on input from the community, and on the experience of other communities, governments and organizations who have already developed, or begun development of marine use plans.
Together with our Strategic Land Use Plan (SLUP), the Marine Use Plan will act as a central, guiding document for the planning and management of all of our territory´s marine areas, including foreshore and intertidal areas. Our marine areas include open waters of Georgia Strait and Malaspina Strait to the far reaches of the territory´s many bays and inlets (see map below).
The main goal of the shíshálh Marine Use Plan project is to enable effective management of our marine areas to ensure that the ocean resources that have supported us for generations can continue to support our people, our traditions and our economy for many generations to come.
How can you get involved or continue to be involved?
The shíshálh Foreshore, Intertidal and Marine Use Plan is a document that is intended to reflect the community´s vision for our territory - specifically its marine, Intertidal and foreshore areas. Therefore, developing this Plan relies upon input from all members of the community. It is the goal of this plan to balance individual needs with the needs of the community as a whole, and at the same time, balance our social and economic needs with the needs of the natural environment, so that it may continue to support us long into the future.
If you would like to be part of planning the future of our marine areas, watch the Band newsletter for notices of upcoming meetings. If you have a specific concern you would like to share, contact the SIB Resource Management Department.
This information is provided for the use and benefit of Sechelt Nation members only, and was prepared to provide Sechelt Nation members with access to general overview information concerning Sechelt Nation traditional uses and land and marine use planning initiatives. This information is not intended, and cannot be relied on, as representing all information and evidence regarding Sechelt Nation Aboriginal title and rights within Sechelt Territory. This information cannot be used or relied on by any third party (government, company, municipality or individual) without the informed consent and further input of the Sechelt Nation.