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Scotian Shelf and Bay of Fundy

At 476,000 km², the Scotian Shelf and Bay of Fundy planning area includes the Bay of Fundy the Gulf of Maine, the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia and the Offshore Scotian Shelf. It shares boundaries with the adjacent Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves, the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence, the French Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, the international border with the United States at Maine and terminates at the boundary of Canada's EEZ.

The planning area is ecologically rich and sustains an array of activities with socioeconomic and cultural importance. Coastal habitats, offshore banks and basins, steep slopes, underwater canyons and the abyssal plain provide a broad diversity of habitats.

The area provides important habitat for species of conservation priority, including fish, marine mammals, invertebrates, plants and birds. There are several Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs)Footnote 1 in the planning area. Environmental changes, such as rising sea-surface temperatures and ocean acidification, lead to impacts on ecosystem function and species distribution.

At the same time, this planning area supports a similarly diverse set of human activities, including:

Human population growth and needs, including the rights-based use and needs of Indigenous peoples, are also important factors. The planning area includes the need to consider these features and activities.


We lead marine spatial planning (MSP) in the Scotian Shelf and Bay of Fundy planning area in partnership with:

Engagement with the above is an important element of the regional work to ensure their priorities are incorporated into MSP. Input from marine industry sectors, such as the fishing industry and non-governmental organizations, will also be taken into consideration. The engagement process can take the form of single-sector and multi-sector meetings and workshops. Committees and working groups (both internal and external) have been created to provide expertise, perspective, coordination and oversight for MSP development and implementation. By working together, we will:


We have identified the following priorities for the Scotian Shelf and Bay of Fundy planning area:

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