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Glass sponge reefs get protection

(photo courtesy CPAWS)

Several groups, including the Vancouver Aquarium and the David Suzuki Foundation, are celebrating a victory in their 6 year fight to protect a rare species.

Glass sponges are found in reef formations around Georgia Strait and Howe Sound. They’re off Gabriola and Galiano Islands, as well as near the Sunshine Coast, Parksville and Hornby Island.

And now, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has agreed to close their habitat to so-called “bottom contact” fishing. That’s things like prawn traps, or drag nets.

Sabine Jessen is with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

Jessen says, however, the work isn’t quite done yet. The fishing ban hasn’t been extended to the glass sponge reefs in Howe Sound. They’re hoping DFO will add them soon.

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