Eastport MPA

Location

There are two small Eastport MPAs, one surrounding Round Island and the other surrounding Duck Islands.

The Eastport - Duck Islands Marine Protected Area (Appendix II) consists of waters in Lobster Fishing Area 5 whose outer limit is a series of rhumb lines commencing at a point 48°45'06" N, 53°41'18" W, then to a point 48°44'30" N, 53°40'42" W, then to a point 48°43'54" N, 53°41'18" W, then to a point 48°44'30" N, 53°42'06" W and then to the point of commencement and whose inner limit is the low-water line of the islands within the outer limit.

The Eastport - Round Island Marine Protected Area (Appendix II) consists of waters in Lobster Fishing Area 5 whose outer limit is a line every point of which is at a distance of 198.12 m (650 feet) from the nearest point of the low-water line of Round Island and whose inner limit is the low-water line of the island.

Ecosystem

The Eastport Peninsula, one of the most picturesque areas of Bonavista Bay, is located approximately three hours drive from St.John's, Newfoundland. The rugged coastline is interrupted by a number of headlands, coves, and beaches. Numerous islands found in the area provide habitat for a variety of marine wildlife. The rich, productive waters surrounding the Eastport Peninsula are host to a wide range of groundfish, pelagic fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and aquatic plants. Since early settlement the people of the Eastport Peninsula have relied on the fishery for their economic subsistence.

In 1995, to address declining catches, the Eastport Peninsula lobster fish harvesters formed the Eastport Peninsula Lobster Protection Committee (EPLPC). The aim of the Committee was to implement an overall lobster conservation strategy for the Eastport Peninsula. Committee members provided information and data required for the management of the resource and implemented various measures to address conservation and sustainability. Based on the initial success of various initiatives, the EPLPC developed an agreement with Fisheries and Oceans Canada in 1997 to limit local fisheries and close two areas of prime lobster habitat to lobster harvesting. One benefit of these initiatives has been the ability of fish harvesters, government, community youth, academics, and scientists to work together and share information and knowledge for better management of the lobster fishery.

In 1999, the EPLPC approached Fisheries and Oceans Canada on establishing a Marine Protected Area (MPA) under the Oceans Act in the Eastport area. The EPLPC feel that establishing a MPA would support their current work and aid in implementing further conservation initiatives. There is scientific evidence that suggests that protecting the two areas of habitat has sustained and perhaps enhanced the local lobster fishery.

In October 2005, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced the designation of the Eastport Marine Protected Areas.

For further information please contact:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Oceans Programs Division, Newfoundland Region
P.O. Box 5667
St. John's, NL A1C 5X1

Management & Conservation

The regulatory conservation objectives for Eastport are:

  • to maintain a viable population of American lobster through the conservation, protection, and sustainable use of resources and habitats; and
  • to ensure the conservation and protection of threatened or endangered species.

While not directly related to the conservation and protection of the American lobster and its habitats, non-regulatory conservation objectives do support general marine conservation and the overarching goals of the steering committee. The non-regulatory conservation objectives are:

  • to ensure participation of interested and affected stakeholders and the overall management of the resource
  • to increase stewardship and public awareness of lobster, the ecosystem of the Eastport MPAs and marine conservation measures
  • to promote scientific research to increase levels of understanding regarding the Eastport MPA ecosystem and to help achieve the conservation objectives; and
  • to ensure potential economic benefits resulting from conservation of the resource are centred in the local communities of the Eastport Peninsula; and to maintain and enhance the quality of the Eastport ecosystem.

Review of Eastport Marine Protect Area monitoring indicators, protocols and strategies (2014)

Eastport Marine Protect Area Regulations (SOR/2005-294) can be found on the Justice Laws website.

Activity Applications

In Marine Protected Areas established under the Oceans Act, it is generally prohibited to carry out any activity that disturbs, damages, destroys or removes any living marine organism or any part of its habitat or is likely to do so. Despite this, there are exceptions to the prohibitions. Activities that may be allowed to occur in the Marine Protected Area are listed under the ‘exception’ section of the Marine Protected Area regulations.

In addition, for most Marine Protected Areas, certain types of activities (e.g., scientific research and monitoring, habitat restoration, commercial marine tourism, and educational activities) may be allowed to occur within the MPA if a proponent submits an activity plan to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The conditions for approval are outlined in the MPA regulations.

Date modified: