Terms of Reference

Review of Existing Data, Protocols, and Procedures for the Gully Marine Protected Area Ecosystem Monitoring Plan

Regional Peer Review – Maritimes Region

September 25-26, 2012
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Chairperson: Tana Worcester


The Gully is the largest marine canyon in eastern North America. Located offshore Nova Scotia near Sable Island, the Gully contains a rich diversity of marine habitats and species, including deep-sea corals and northern bottlenose whales. The area is nationally and globally acknowledged as a unique and important marine habitat. The Gully was designated as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) under the Oceans Act in May 2004. Management of the Gully MPA is conducted in accordance with the Gully Marine Protected Area Regulations and The Gully Marine Protected Area Management Plan.

Within this Plan, the conservation objectives for the Gully MPA are to:

Protect the health and integrity of the Gully ecosystem:

In support of the Health of the Oceans Initiative, DFO Science developed an Ecosystem Monitoring Framework to address the conservation objectives for the Gully MPA, consisting of a suite of 47 indicators, and advice on how to implement a cost-effective monitoring program that incorporates existing monitoring programs, protocols and strategies to the extent possible. A Maritimes Region Science Advisory Process was conducted in February 2010 to review the indicators, protocols, and strategies developed for monitoring of the Gully MPA (DFO 2010; Kenchington 2010).

Research and monitoring activities have been conducted in the Gully since the mid-1900s, and data exists that could contribute to 34 of the 47 indicators listed in the Ecosystem Monitoring Framework. However, to date, little has been done to evaluate the available data to determine if the Gully MPA is achieving the conservation objectives laid out in the management plan. Further, the Science Advisory Report on the Gully Monitoring Framework identified the need to develop standardized monitoring protocols so that data collection and analyses are consistent over the long term.

The proposed meeting would provide an evaluation of existing data that could inform indicators to be included in a Gully Ecosystem Monitoring Plan, and also provide a review of existing protocols and procedures to determine if changes are required to meet MPA monitoring needs.


The objectives of this meeting are:

Expected Publications



DFO. 2010. Review of the Gully Marine Protected Area Monitoring Indicators, Protocols and Strategies. DFO. Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2010/066.

Kenchington, T. 2010. Environmental Monitoring of the Gully Marine Protected Area: A Recommendation. DFO. Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Res. Doc. 2010/075


Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

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