Research Document - 2013/099
Distribution and habitat associations of selected demersal fish species in the Laurentian Channel and Laurentian Area of Interest (AOI)
By D.W. Kulka and N. Templeman
The identification of an Area of Interest (AOI) is the first step towards designating a location as a Marine Protected Area(s) (MPA). The Laurentian Channel was selected as an AOI under the MPA initiative in June 2010. In support of the development of a biophysical overview of the Laurentian Channel Study Area, this paper examines the distribution and habitat associations of 22 demersal fish species that occur within the Laurentian Channel AOI. Species are mapped such that depth and survey catch bottom rate at depth and bottom temperature within the AOI are compared to the broader surrounding areas. Species examined were selected based on two criteria: a) those that were most abundant in the AOI and the survey area surrounding the AOI that covers all of NAFO Div. 3Ps and b) 13 demersal fish species that were chosen from 18 potential conservation priorities for the area. The mapping revealed relative importance of each of the species within the AOI.
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