Coral & Sponge Conservation Strategy for Eastern Canada 2015
Table of Contents
- Complete Text
- Executive Summary
- Purpose of the Strategy
- Why Protect Corals and Sponges?
- Geographic Scope
- International Context
- Canadian Context
- Status of Coral and Sponge Conservation in Eastern Canada
- Research on Corals and Sponges in Eastern Canada
- Targets and Actions
- Development and Implementation
- Appendix A: Biology of Corals and Sponges in Eastern Canada
- Appendix B: Challenges for Coral and Sponge Conservation
- Appendix C: Management Measures
- Appendix D: Ecological Risk Assessment Framework
- Appendix E: Relevant Publications
- Contact Information
The Coral and Sponge Conservation Strategy for Eastern Canada covers the coral and sponge species, communities, and habitats in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans of eastern Canada. The geographic scope of this Strategy includes corals and sponges occurring from the eastern Arctic Ocean, south to the Scotian Shelf, and east to the Grand Banks. The geographic scope includes the Gulf of St. Lawrence and extends out to the 200 mile limit (Canada’s Economic Exclusion Zone or EEZ), and includes all of Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) areas 2, 3, and 4 outside the EEZ (Figure 1).
Though fishing activities outside the EEZ are managed by NAFO, these NAFO areas have been included in the Strategy because parts of the continental shelf extend past the EEZ, and Canada has jurisdiction over the continental shelf for sedentary species, such as corals. Canada has been leading the efforts at NAFO to identify vulnerable marine ecosystems in the NAFO Regulatory Area (NRA) and taking action to protect them. NAFO has several closures within this area which protect sensitive benthic habitat, including corals and sponges. DFO’s Policy to Manage the Impacts of Fishing on Sensitive Benthic Areas (DFO 2009a) applies to fishing activity managed by the Government of Canada inside and outside the EEZ. In addition, Canada collaborates closely with NAFO in scientific research related to coral and sponges.
Through this Strategy, DFO regions will work individually and, where appropriate, cooperatively with NAFO to develop conservation approaches that take into account the importance of scientific research and the ecosystem-based management approach. One strategy is better aligned with an ecosystem approach as compared to several strategies governed by administrative boundaries.
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