Canada's Ocean, Freshwater & US

Gwaii Haanas
Rogier Gruys
Location: British Columbia
Approximate Area: 350,000 hectares
Date of Designation: 2010
Conservation Objectives

To protect native biodiversity, including fish, seabirds, and marine mammals such as sea lions, porpoises, killer whales and migrating grey whales. Also to protect aspects of Haida culture and heritage, including over 700 archaeological sites.


It is prohibited to fish in Strict Protection Zones, as part of the marine zoning plan within the Land-Sea-People Management Plan. These areas have been identified as ecologically important and culturally sensitive by the Haida Nation and the federal government.

Why (environmental context for protection)

The natural resources of Gwaii Haanas are an integral part of Haida traditional culture. Its landscape supports diverse and abundant ecological communities, and contains over 6,800 documented species (including 42 species at risk). Evidence of human occupation of Gwaii Haanas dates back over 12,000 years. Living Haida culture continues through traditional use, commercial activities, and cultural programs within the area.

Gwaii Haanas is co-managed by the Haida Nation and the federal government.