Frequently Asked Questions
Gulf of St. Lawrence Integrated Management (GOSLIM) Plan
What is the Gulf of St. Lawrence Integrated Management Plan?
- The Gulf of St. Lawrence Integrated Management Plan provides a framework for improved integration of regulatory and management decisions related to human activities within the Gulf. This plan, led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, required the collaboration of all federal government departments, provincial governments and First Nations representatives in order to identify priority issues for regulatory authorities.
- Key themes were identified through a risk-based management approach. They arised from a review of interactions between ecosystem components and human related activities. The most vulnerable components are given priority attention.
What are the next steps?
- The next steps are to implement action plans that are specific to each theme. Generally, plans will be implemented depending on priorities, organizations interested in collaborating, and available resources. For example, with corals and sponges, a conservation strategy was developed that includes measures for the Gulf of St. Lawrence. These measures will be implemented with key partners over the coming years. Another example concerns risks to marine mammals. An action plan was developed in consultation with industry through the Navigation Coordination Committee created under the St. Lawrence Action Plan.
Who is involved in these next steps?
- Collaboration between the federal and provincial government departments will be necessary in order to develop and implement action plans that will resolve or facilitate resolution of the issues identified. Interested organizations, such as Aboriginal organizations, industry and other stakeholders, will be involved based on the issues targeted. Implementation of the Gulf of St. Lawrence Integrated Management Plan will therefore be in constant evolution.
Who is responsible for implementing the plan?
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada guides the initiatives related to its mandate. Other regulatory organizations (federal or provincial) can guide initiatives related to certain themes when these fall under their mandate.
Why is integrated management needed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and its Estuary?
- For better integration of the decisions concerning the impacts of human activities on the ecosystem.
- The socio-economic benefits that coastal communities, users and all Canadians derive from the Gulf ecosystem are directly linked to its capacity to sustain those uses as well as emerging ones.
- An increase in competing and diverse demands for oceans space and resources in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and its estuary is putting pressure on the ecosystem and creating user conflicts.
- Communities and users want to participate in the decision-making processes that influence their lives and livelihoods.
- In order to create an ecosystem-based and sustainable approach to management, all types of knowledge and sciences need to be better integrated.
Why was Gulf of St. Lawrence selected as a Large Ocean Management Area?
The Gulf of St. Lawrence’s ecosystem is recognized for its distinct physical features, high biodiversity, and the wide range and intensity of activities that it supports, from fishing and aquaculture to transportation and recreation.
- The Gulf and its estuary is one of the most diverse and productive marine environments in North America.
- In economic terms, the Gulf’s marine area and surrounding land mass support numerous activities that generate substantial wealth including transportation, recreation and tourism, fishing and aquaculture.
- For residents living in coastal areas of the boundary provinces its value in social, cultural, and spiritual terms goes far beyond its economic worth.
What are the priorities for the Gulf of St. Lawrence Integrated Management Plan?
In all, eight main management themes were identified. These themes will serve as a framework for determining management priorities.
The management themes are:
- vulnerability of groundfish and invertebrates living on the sea floor to the fishery and physical changes in habitat;
- vulnerability of high seas fish to the fishery;
- sensitivity of marine mammals to noise, entanglement, collisions with vessels and contaminants;
- vulnerability of marine plants to habitat changes caused by invasive species, contaminants and nutrient supply;
- vulnerability of corals and sponges to activities that affect the sea floor;
- vulnerability of marine birds and colonial birds to disturbances, bycatches, spills and habitat modification;
- vulnerability of marine and coastal environments to high levels of nutrients and sediment;
- vulnerability of species at risk to bycatches, the fishery, and modification of their habitat.
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