Northeast Channel Coral Conservation Area (Restricted Bottom Fisheries Zone)
- Scotian Shelf Bioregion (Nova Scotia)
- Approximate Size (km2) contribution to Marine Conservation Targets
- 391 km2
- Approximate % coverage contribution to Marine Conservation Targets
- Conservation Objective
- Protect cold-water corals
Ecological Components of Interest
Species of regional importance: Cold water corals
- Why they are important: Cold-water corals are fragile, slow to recover, structure-providing species.
Habitat that is important to biodiversity conservation: Cold water corals
- Why it is important: This area includes high densities of intact octocorals. These structure-forming species provide 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.
The closure includes portions of large and small gorgonian coral areas identified as significant under the Policy for Managing the Impact of Fishing on Sensitive Benthic Areas.
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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