National Framework for Canada's Network of Marine Protected Areas
Table of Contents
- Complete Text
- 1.0 Introduction
- 2.0 Vision
- 3.0 Network Goals
- 4.0 What is a Marine Protected Area?
- 5.0 Canada's Network of Marine Protected Areas
- 6.0 Bioregions for the National Network of Marine Protected Areas
- 7.0 Benefits and Costs of a Marine Protected Area Network
- 8.0 Guiding Principles
- 9.0 Network Design
- 10.0 Bioregional MPA Network Planning
- 11.0 Next Steps
- Annex 1: Glossary
- Annex 2: IUCN Guidelines
- Annex 3: Federal, Provincial and Territorial Legislation and Regulations Related to Marine Protected Areas and Related Conservation Measures
6. Bioregions for the National Network of Marine Protected Areas
The spatial planning framework for Canada's national network of MPAs is 13 ecologically defined bioregions that cover Canada's oceans and the Great Lakes (Figure 1).
Note that the geographic boundaries for biogregions have not been determined; the bioregion lines are only for general illustrative purposes.
Network planning in these bioregions will share a common foundation—including the vision, goals, principles, eligibility criteria, design and management approach included in this National Framework. Bioregions may be subdivided into smaller planning areas, but for simplicity, the general term “bioregional network planning” is used to encompass different scales of regional planning.
The 12 oceanic bioregions were identified through a national science advisory processFootnote 7 that considered oceanographic and bathymetric similarities, important factors in defining habitats and their species.
By ocean, the marine bioregions are:
- Atlantic Ocean (3) - the Scotian Shelf (which includes the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine); the Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves; and the Gulf of St. Lawrence;
- Pacific Ocean (4) - the Northern Shelf; the Strait of Georgia; the Southern Shelf; and the Offshore Pacific;
- Arctic Ocean (5) - the Hudson Bay Complex; the Arctic Archipelago; the Arctic Basin; the Eastern Arctic; and the Western Arctic.
The Government of Canada has established five Large Ocean Management Areas, or LOMAs, to advance collaborative, integrated marine planning. They are the Pacific North Coast, Beaufort Sea, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Eastern Scotian Shelf, and Placentia Bay/ Grand Banks Integrated Management Areas (Figure 1). Ecosystem health and economic development issues within the LOMA boundaries are addressed and suitably managed through comprehensive Integrated Oceans Management (IOM) governance processes (see Section 10.1). Since LOMAs were defined based on a blend of ecological and administrative considerations and pre-date the bioregions, most encompass more than one bioregion. Only the Pacific North Shelf and the Gulf of St. Lawrence bioregions generally conform to their associated LOMAs. Section 10.1 describes how LOMA governance bodies can be used to facilitate MPA network planning.
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