Proceedings 2004/016

Proceedings of the Canadian Marine Ecoregions Workshop; March 23-25 2004

Howard Powles, Valérie Vendette, Robert Siron and Robert O’Boyle

Summary

A workshop was held to identify Canadian marine ecoregions to be used as a basis for integrated oceans management. A review of previous initiatives for identifying ecological units in Canada’s marine space concluded that these were valid for their intended purposes, but would not be adequate to support integrated management based on ecosystem objectives. Participants were specialists in areas relevant to the criteria used for setting ecoregions. These criteria fell into three broad categories, geological properties, physical oceanographic properties and biological properties. The group followed a non-hierarchical approach based on overlaying information on the various criteria and seeking common patterns; this approach was considered to be most compatible with the intended purpose of integrated management. The workshop resulted in the identification of 17 marine ecoregions for Canada’s three oceans, 4 in the Pacific, 6 in the Arctic and 7 in the Atlantic.

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