February 14-16, 2012
Chairperson: Jacques A. Gagné
DFO is committed to develop ecosystem-based approaches to manage human interactions with marine systems. This commitment is a result of Canada’s Oceans Act and recommendations from international bodies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. To develop such approaches, Ecosystem Research Initiatives (ERIs) were established by DFO Science in each Region as pilot projects to enhance the capacity to provide scientific advice in support of ecosystem-based management.
In the Quebec Region, The ERI aims to characterize (1) habitats frequently occupied by beluga whales and (2) forage species responsible for the presence of rorqual whales, particularly blue whales in the St. Lawrence Estuary. Management issues that led to the definition of these themes were identified during workshops involving scientists and managers. For each theme, terms of reference were established to facilitate the integration of knowledge already available with other newly acquired through projects supported by the initiative in order to achieve the objectives. For both themes the terms of reference target the study of (a) the main factors / ecosystem processes that influence their quality or strength of the interactions, (b) the seasonal distribution and use by the targeted species and (c) the impacts of human activity on ecosystem components and / or processes that govern their structure and functions. The St. Lawrence Estuary ERI was launched in the summer of 2007 and will conclude its directly-funded phase on 31 March 2012. During this period, the Initiative has supported around thirty projects in search of new information necessary for the integrated scientific advice on the management issues that guide the initiative.
For each subject, all available information, old and new, was integrated in two Research documents reviewed accordingly to CSAS directives in 2011. These documents contain the information need to draft an integrated scientific advice on management issues identified for each of the two themes. The purpose of this regional peer review is to review the draft of these two integrated advices.
Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.