Research Document - 2011/070

Identification of Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) in the Canadian Arctic

By D.G. Cobb

Abstract

In order to facilitate the identification of Arctic Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) criteria were applied to important areas in the Canadian Arctic. These areas have been previously identified as important in ecosystem overviews, stock status reports, and traditional knowledge studies. A total of 58 candidate EBSAs were identified within five biogeographic areas of the Canadian Arctic (Arctic Basin, Western Arctic, Arctic Archipelago, Eastern Arctic, and Hudson Bay Complex). The results of this analysis formed the basis of a Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) workshop to review candidate EBSAs, refine boundaries, delete or identify new EBSAs or strengthen arguments in support of EBSAs based on recent information which was presented at the June 2011 CSAS workshop. Important areas were scored as high, medium or low for each of the criteria, and the resultant EBSAs were then ranked.

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