The Bowie Seamount MPA (Sgaan Kinghlas) encompasses a complex of three offshore submarine volcanoes. It is located 180 km off shore of Haida Gwaii and rises from a depth of 3,000 metres to within 24 meters of the surface making it the shallowest seamount in Canada. It is a rare habitat in the northeast Pacific Ocean and one of Earth’s most biologically rich submarine volcanoes.
The Bowie Seamount ecosystem is an area of high biological productivity and unique oceanographic conditions. At Bowie, there is a unique blend of ocean dwelling and near-shore species living in the same ecosystem. Also, a number of species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) have been observed at the Bowie Seamount, including the Ancient Murrelet, Steller Sea Lion, Orca, and Boccacio rockfish.
To the Haida Nation, the indigenous people who played a key role to establish the Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area, the submarine volcano is called Sgaan Kinghlas. In their language it means "Supernatural Being Looking Outward". This seamount has long been recognized by the Haida Nation as a special and protected place.
Due to its biologically rich and unique nature as well as its vulnerability to over exploitation the Bowie Seamount (Sgaan Kinghlas) was designated Canada’s seventh Marine Protected Area on April 17, 2008.
The Bowie Seamount MPA conservation objective is to conserve and protect the unique biodiversity and biological productivity of the area’s marine ecosystem, which includes the Bowie, Hodgkins and Davidson seamounts and the surrounding waters, seabed and subsoil.
Left: Wolf Eel
Photo: Dan Leus, Herb Watson & Sigi Scheer, Aug. 16, 2008 - diving off the vessel McLaughlin Bay
A Management Board for the Bowie Seamount Protected Area was established through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) [HTML] [PDF] signed in April 2007 between the Government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nations (CHN). The MOU confirms the commitment to facilitate the cooperative management and planning of the MPA and demonstrates the shared goal of DFO and the CHN to protect and conserve Bowie Seamount for present and future generations.
The Management Board provides a process for the parties to exchange views and provide advice to the Minister of Fisheries & Oceans and the Council of the Haida Nation on the planning and management of the Protected Area.
An Advisory Body for the Protected Area will provide an open forum for the sharing of information and ideas between groups that might not otherwise interact, and further serves as an important connection between the Management Board, the Government of Canada, the Council of the Haida Nations, the larger marine community and the general public.
Left: Prow Fish
Photos: Dan Leus, Herb Watson & Sigi Scheer, Aug. 16, 2008 - diving off the vessel McLaughlin Bay
A/Integrated Coastal Zone Manager
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Oceans, Habitat and Enhancement
417-2nd Avenue West
Prince Rupert, BC, V8J 1G8