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Review of the Ecological Risk Assessment Scoring for the Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area (MPA)

Regional Peer Review – Ontario and Prairie Region and Arctic Region

April 21–22, 2022
Virtual Meeting

Chairperson: Jason Stow


Under the Oceans Act, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans Canada, and the Canadian Coast Guard is responsible for leading and coordinating the development and implementation of a national system of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on behalf of the Government of Canada. Undertaking an ecological risk assessment to identify risks to the conservation priorities (or conservation objectives) of an MPA is a fundamental step in the MPA establishment process. In August 2019, the Tuvaijuittuq MPA was established by ministerial order, which freezes the footprint of an area for up to five years while the Government of Canada and its partners conduct an assessment of the feasibility and desirability of long-term protection in the area. In anticipation of a decision on long-term protection, DFO is pursuing an ecological risk assessment for Tuvaijuittuq, which will be needed to inform regulatory decisions (i.e., which activities are allowed and which are prohibited) should an Oceans Act MPA be established.

The ecological risk assessment is a systematic and transparent process for gathering, evaluating, and recording information on the risks posed to ecologically significant components within a study area. The risk assessment for Tuvaijuittuq will be based on a draft Arctic Region Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (ERAF), which provides a consistent approach for calculating risk of harm to Arctic ecosystems from both single and multiple stressors. The ERAF was developed by DFO Marine Planning and Conservation (MPC) Arctic Region, with input from a regional working group with membership from MPC, DFO Science, and Fisheries Management. The risk scores produced through this CSAS process will draw on previous Science advice (DFO 2020) and a draft Pathways of Effects (PoE) report developed for the area.

DFO MPC Arctic Region requires Science advice to validate ecological risk scores developed using the Arctic ERAF to ensure that findings are consistent with existing literature and knowledge of the area. These scores are necessary to produce an ecological risk assessment and guide the establishment of an Oceans Act MPA by Governor-in-Council, should one be recommended in Tuvaijuittuq.


The objective of the request for Science advice is to peer review and provide expert validation of the scoring against the ecologically significant components from a draft risk assessment prepared by MPC Arctic Region/consultant.

Expected Publication

Expected Participation



Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

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