Hatton Basin Conservation Area
- Eastern Arctic and Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves Bioregions (Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador)
- Approximate Size (km2) contribution to Marine Conservation Targets
- 42,459 km2
- Approximate % coverage contribution to Marine Conservation Targets
- 0.74 %
- Conservation Objective
- To conserve sensitive benthic areas.
Ecological Components of Interest
Species of regional importance: cold-water corals and sponges.
- Why they are important: Corals and sponges are fragile, slow to recover, structure-providing species.
Habitat that is important to biodiversity conservation: Significant concentrations of small gorgonian corals, large gorgonian corals, and sponges.
- Why it is important: These species play an important functional role for numerous forms of marine life.
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.
The Hatton Basin Conservation Area overlaps 80% of the Hatton Basin/Labrador Sea/Davis Strait EBSA and 21% of the Outer Shelf Saglek Bank EBSA. Hatton Basin has high biological productivity.
The closure protects significant concentrations of small gorgonian corals, large gorgonian corals, and sponges as well as non-aggregating species such as black coral, stony coral and hydrocoral. Conservation benefits are also conferred to benthic fish species and invertebrates, including those of commercial importance (e.g., Greenland halibut, northern shrimp, and striped shrimp). Many species use the structural habitat for various purposes, including spawning, breeding, and nurseries.
This area is the only known overwintering area for northern Hudson Bay narwhal. The area also supports important habitat for other marine mammals, seals, and high densities of sea birds (including depleted species, such as the endangered ivory gull).
Prohibiting bottom-contact gear can protect not only the corals and sponges but also diverse populations of other species of fish and invertebrates that utilize 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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