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Archived – DFO Consults to Identify an Area of Interest for a Marine Protected Area off Nova Scotia

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October 9 , 2009


Dartmouth, NS - Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has initiated a 60-day consultation period to identify an Area of Interest for a future Marine Protected Area in waters off Nova Scotia.  Three marine sites off Eastern Nova Scotia have been identified as candidate Areas of Interest. They are Misaine Bank/Eastern Shoal, Middle Bank, and St Anns Bank.

Beginning in early October 2009, the department will consult with the fishing and ocean industries, the Aboriginal community, coastal community and environmental groups, and other stakeholders. Based in part on the feedback, one site will be recommended to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for announcement as an Area of Interest.

Identifying an Area of Interest is the first step in establishing a Marine Protected Area under Canada’s Oceans Act. Once selected, the Area of Interest will undergo detailed evaluation, research, and public consultation before a Marine Protected Area is designated.

There is currently one Marine Protected Area off Nova Scotia, the Gully Marine Protected Area, a large submarine canyon on the edge of the Scotian Shelf.

Marine Protected Areas are established by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to protect and conserve important fish and marine mammal habitats, endangered marine species, unique features and areas of high biological productivity or biodiversity.  Canada has committed to establishing a network of protected areas in its oceans to help meet a range of cultural and conservation goals. Under the Health of the Oceans Initiative, DFO will establish six new Marine Protected Areas across Canada by 2012.

A consultation booklet describing the candidate Areas of Interest, and how they were identified, will be used to capture public feedback.  The booklet (with feedback form) is available online at: http://www.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans/e/ocmd/mpa/aoi-e.html. It also can be obtained by contacting DFO at:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Oceans and Coastal Management Division
Bedford Institute of Oceanography
PO Box 1006, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, B2Y 4A2
Phone (902) 426-9926
Fax (902) 426-3855
Email MaritimesMPAs@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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For information:

Communications Branch
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Maritimes Region
(902) 426-3550

NR-MAR-09-15E