Division 3O Coral closure

Location
Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves Bioregion (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Approximate Size (km2) contribution to Marine Conservation Targets
10,422 km2 (portion inside EEZ)
Approximate % coverage contribution to Marine Conservation Targets
0.18% (portion inside EEZ)
Conservation Objective
Protect corals and sponges

Ecological Components of Interest

Division 3O Coral closure

Division 3O Coral closure

Species of regional importance: corals and sponges

Habitat that is important to biodiversity conservation: corals and sponges

Prohibitions

The ecological components of interest are effectively conserved through the following prohibitions:

All bottom fishing activities.

Other Considerations

No human activities that are incompatible with the conservation of the ecological components of interest may occur or be foreseeable within the area.

Environmental Context

The closure overlaps a significant portion of the Southwest Shelf Edge and Slope Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area. This area supports a significant diversity of species and habitats that live in slope and shelf environments. Depleted species such as Atlantic cod, redfish and Leatherback sea turtles are found in the area.

The closure includes areas of sea pens and large and small gorgonian corals identified as significant under the Policy for Managing the Impact of Fishing on Sensitive Benthic Areas.

Corals play an important functional role for numerous forms of marine life. They act as spawning and breeding grounds, nurseries, and refuges for many aquatic species.

The dense aggregations created by large, structure-forming cold-water corals can alter bottom currents and provide niche space for other organisms.

Prohibition on bottom-contact gear can protect not only the corals and sponges but also a diversity of other species of fish and invertebrates that utilize the structural habitat that corals and sponges provide. This area can act as a natural refuge area that may contribute to increased species productivity, which in turn, potentially lead to increased abundance within and adjacent to the area.

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