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Did you hear that the Eastern Shore Islands was named an "Area of Interest" for potential marine protection?

Current status: Closed

Opened on April 5, 2018 and closed to on March 23, 2019.

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On March 22, 2018 the Government of Canada announced the Eastern Shore Islands as an Area of Interest (AOI) for possible Marine Protected Area (MPA) designation under the Oceans Act. The announcement marks the start of a multi-year process to evaluate this area as a potential MPA.

What does this mean?

This area could receive greater legal protection under Canada's Oceans Act. A MPA would help protect this special natural place from high-impact activities while helping to preserve traditional uses such as sustainable, commercial fisheries and recreational hunting and angling for future generations. The Eastern Shore Islands is only a study area at this point and no decisions have been made about whether it will be designated, or what the size, shape or rules would be. These things will be determined by gathering more information, an assessment of risks and extensive consultation with the Province of Nova Scotia, First Nations, Indigenous groups, the local community, the fishing industry and other stakeholders.

A MPA can mean more scientific research in these waters, including opportunities for collaboration with the First Nations, community and industry. It could also mean improvements to the health of fishery resources, and more opportunities for tourism and recreation.

How can you provide input/get involved?

DFO will be hosting two public events this fall on the Eastern Shore! These open houses are designed to share information about the Eastern Shore Islands MPA establishment process, and are an opportunity for the department to learn more about what is important to you, the residents of the Eastern Shore. These events will be drop-in style and family-friendly so come at a time convenient to you:

Tuesday, October 30

10:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Tangier Fire Hall
17559 Hwy 7
Tangier, NS

Wednesday, November 7

10:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Moser River
Community Hall
28975 Hwy 7, Moser River, NS

What does this NOT mean?

A potential MPA on the Eastern Shore does n ot mean that all fisheries will be closed. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is confident that lobster and other traditional fixed-gear fishing, dive fisheries, recreational fisheries, and Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) fisheries will be able to continue.

It does not mean that members of the community won't be able to enjoy the beautiful islands and the waters that surround them, as they have in the past. Oceans Act MPAs only protect the water, and MPA boundaries only extend to the low tide line. This means that all activities like hunting and clamming that take place on the land and between low tide and high tide would fall outside a MPA boundary. Likewise, a MPA would not impact property ownership, or maintenance activities such as private wharf repairs.

DFO isn't doing this alone. Consultation is necessary to ensure a ‘best fit’ design for the area. It's especially important to have First Nations, the fishing industry and local community members involved as they have taken care of this area for generations, and DFO wants to ensure there will be no impacts to jobs or the ability to make a living along the Eastern Shore.

Eastern Shore Islands Area of Interest (AOI). © Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Eastern Shore Islands Area of Interest (AOI). © Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Want more information?

If you have any questions, are wondering how a future MPA in the Eastern Shore Islands area might affect you, or want to be added to our email distribution list, please contact us at:

Also, please visit our website regularly for updates or follow us on social media.

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