Marine Protected Area Network Strategy for the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence Bioregion

Marine Protected Area Network Strategy for the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence Bioregion

Marine Protected Area Network Strategy for the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence Bioregion (PDF, 6.76 MB)

Table of Contents

Geographic Scope

Figure 1 : This figure depicts the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence Bioregion, in purple. Visible are the five provinces that border the area: Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. The area is bounded to the east by a jagged line that stretches from approximately Bay St. Lawrence, Nova Scotia to Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador, to the north by a line drawn south of Henley Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador to approximately Raleigh, Newfoundland and Labrador and to the eastern tip of Île d'Orléans, Quebec to the west. This Bioregion is included in the Gulf of St. Lawrence biogeographic unit which is outlined by a line drawn in black that has the same northern and western boundaries as the Bioregion, but is bounded to the east by a line that curves eastward and touches near Glace Bay, Nova Scotia extending to a point in Newfoundland and Labrador located near Port-aux-Basques.

The Gulf of St. Lawrence Bioregion is the spatial basis for this MPA network. This biogeographic unit was identified from a DFO Science direction - led peer review process in 2009, which reflects the spatial extent of this ecosystem. The boundary for the Gulf of St. Lawrence Biogeographic unit covers the Gulf and Estuary of St. Lawrence as is shown in Figure 1 (area bounded by black line). However, for operational needs, this strategy will apply to the area of this unit illustrated in purple in Figure 1 and will be referred to as the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence Bioregion. Network development in the adjoining biogeographic units (the Scotian Shelf and the Newfoundland and Labrador Shelf) will be led by the corresponding DFO administrative region. Where administrative boundaries do not align with recommended biogeographic units, a high level of interregional collaboration and cooperation will be required.

Thus, the network of marine protected areas will be designed and established throughout the area covering the upper Estuary, the lower Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence (Figure 1). The exact physiographic limits of the area under study include:

Vision

The overall vision for the Network of Marine Protected Areas in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence Bioregion is:

A resilient network of marine protected areas, which is ecologically representative, protects ecological diversity and maintains the ecological services of the marine environment for the benefit of present and future generations.

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