Lophelia Coral Conservation Area
- Scotian Shelf Bioregion (Nova Scotia)
- Approximate Size (km2) contribution to Marine Conservation Targets
- 15 km2
- Approximate % coverage contribution to Marine Conservation Targets
- Conservation Objective
- Protect Lophelia pertusa coral reef
Ecological Components of Interest
Species of regional importance: Lophelia pertusa coral reef
- Why they are important: This is the only known living Lophelia pertusa coral reef in Canada’s Atlantic waters.
Habitat that is important to biodiversity conservation: Lophelia pertusa coral reef
- Why it is important: Lophelia reefs are known to be hotspots for biodiversity. This structure-forming species provides habitat for many other species.
The ecological components of interest are effectively conserved through the following prohibitions:
All commercial bottom-contact fishing gear.
No human activities that are incompatible with the conservation of the ecological components of interest may occur or be foreseeable within the area.
Corals play an important functional role for numerous forms of marine life. They act as spawning and breeding grounds, nurseries, and refuges for many aquatic species.
The dense aggregations created by large, structure-forming cold-water corals can alter bottom currents and provide niche space for other organisms.
Prohibiting bottom-contact gear can protect not only the corals but a diversity of other species of fish and invertebrates that utilize the complex structural habitat the corals provide. This area can act as a natural refuge area that may contribute to increased species productivity, which in turn, could potentially lead to increased abundance within and adjacent to the area.
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