Disko Fan Conservation Area (portion closed to all bottom-contact fishing)
- Eastern Arctic Bioregion (Nunavut)
- Approximate Size (km2) contribution to Marine Conservation Targets
- 7,485 km2
- Approximate % coverage contribution to Marine Conservation Targets
- 0.13 %
- Conservation Objectives
- Minimize impacts on winter food source and overwintering habitat for narwhal.
- Conserve coral concentrations.
Ecological Components of Interest
Species of regional importance: Narwhal
- Why it is important: Narwhal is important to Nunavut communities for social, cultural, and economic purposes, and is a traditional food source for many Inuit who harvest for subsistence.
Habitat that is important to biodiversity conservation: Significant concentrations of large gorgonian corals, including large tracts of globally unique, high-density bamboo corals.
- Why it is important: Large gorgonians corals are fragile and slow to recover; in addition, they provide structural habitat for many other species, including those of commercial importance (i.e., Greenland halibut, northern shrimp).
The ecological components of interest are effectively conserved through the following prohibitions:
All bottom-contact fishing activities.
No human activities that are incompatible with the conservation of the ecological components of interest may occur or be foreseeable within the area.
This area was identified as an Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area in 2011 based on oceanographic characteristics, its function as an overwintering habitat for narwhal, and the presence of several species of cold-water coral.
Conservation benefits are also conferred to sperm whales and northern bottlenose whales that use the area, as well as to benthic fish species and invertebrates including those of commercial importance (e.g., Greenland halibut and northern shrimp). Many species use the structural habitat for various purposes, including spawning, breeding, and nurseries.
Prohibiting bottom-contact gear can protect not only the corals but also diverse populations of other species of fish and invertebrates that use the habitat. This area can act as a natural refuge area that may contribute to increased species productivity, which in turn, could potentially lead to increased abundance within and adjacent to the area.
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