Implementation of Coral and Sponge Conservation Areas in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has announced the selection of 11 coral and sponge conservation areas in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. Fisheries management measures will be implemented and will take effect on December 15, 2017, with the release of the Quebec Region Variation Order 2017-Q-104.

To encourage conservation, the use of all bottom-contact fishing gear will be prohibited in these areas, including, but not limited to, bottom trawls, dredges, gillnets, bottom longlines, bottom seines and traps. The use of this gear is known to pose a risk to important benthic communities, especially corals and sponges in eastern Canada.

The process that led to identification of these areas consisted of four stages:

Among the 20 important coral and sponge concentration areas examined, 11 were chosen for conservation. In identifying the conservation areas that will be established, Fisheries and Oceans Canada made significant efforts to minimize the impact of these new measures on concerned Aboriginal groups and all stakeholders in the harvesting sector.

Below you will find maps presenting the selected conservation areas, as well as maps of these areas superimposed on the geographic distribution of annual landed values:

Map of areas identified for coral and sponge conservation in the St. Lawrence

This map presents all of the areas selected for coral and sponge conservation in the St. Lawrence along with their respective areas.

Maps of each of the areas chosen for coral and sponge conservation:
Each map presents one of the 11 areas selected along with its coordinates.

Map of the geographic distribution of the average annual landed value ($) for all fisheries and coral and sponge conservation areas in the St. Lawrence
This map overlaps the conservation areas on the map of the geographic distribution of the average annual landed value (in dollars) for the period 2008–2015 and for all fisheries conducted between 2008 and 2015. Note that this map also includes the historical average landed value of redfish and cod between 1986 and 2015.

Maps presenting the conservation areas and geographic distribution of the average annual landed value for the period 2008–2015 for each species listed below:

Maps presenting the conservation areas and geographic distribution of the historical average annual landed value for the period 1986–2015 for redfish and cod:

For more information on conservation areas across Canada, please consult the national site.

Initial Proposed Coral and Sponge Conservation Areas in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence Based on Analysis

Below you will find the maps of the sites proposed in June 2017, superimposed over the annual landed values. To consult maps of the areas selected, see the implementation section

Map of sites proposed for conservation of St. Lawrence corals and sponges.
This map presents the proposed coral and sponge conservation sites in the St. Lawrence, published in June 2017. These sites have since been subject to modifications.

Maps of each of the coral and sponge conservation sites proposed in June 2017:

  • Zone E3-EN Map Parent Bank Sponge Conservation Area (Parent Bank)
  • Zone E5-EN Map Jacques-Cartier Strait Sponge Conservation Area (Jacques-Cartier)
  • Zone E7-EN Map Sponge Conservation Area Southeast of Anticosti Island (Southeast Anticosti)
  • Zone E8-EN Map Map Sponge Conservation Area East of Anticosti Island (East Anticosti)
  • Zone E9-EN Map Beaugé Bank Sponge Conservation Area (Beaugé Bank)
  • Zone P3_E6_P4-EN Map Eastern Honguedo Strait Coral and Sponge Conservation Area (East Honguedo)
  • Zone P3-EN Map Western Honguedo Strait Coral Conservation Area (West Honguedo)
  • Zone P4-EN Map Coral Conservation Area North of Bennett Bank (Bennett Bank)
  • Zone P5-EN Map Central Gulf of St. Lawrence Coral Conservation Area (Central Gulf)
  • Zone P6N-EN Map Slope of Magdalen Shallows Coral Conservation Area (Slope of Magdalen Shallows)
  • Zone P6S-EN Map Eastern Gulf of St. Lawrence Coral Conservation Area (Eastern Gulf)

Map of the geographic distribution of the average annual landed value ($) for all fisheries, and the proposed coral and sponge conservation sites in the St. Lawrence


This map overlaps the sites proposed and presented in June 2017 with the geographic distribution of the average annual landed value (in dollars) for the period 2008–2015 and for all fisheries conducted. Note that this map also includes the historical average landed value of redfish and cod between 1986 and 2015.

Maps presenting the sites proposed in June 2017 and superimposed on the average annual landed value for the period 2008–2015 for each species listed below:

Maps presenting the sites proposed in June 2017 and superimposed over the historical average landed value of redfish and cod for the period 1986–2015.

Additional information
Maps of marine areas that are protected across the country

Science Advisory Report 2017/0077
Delineation of Significant Areas of Coldwater Corals and Sponge-Dominated Communities in Canada's Atlantic and Eastern Arctic Marine Waters and their Overlap with Fishing Activity

Consultations on implementing conservation measures for St. Lawrence corals and sponges

You will find below the material used for the consultations. Please note that the consultations are now finished.

Consultation guide for implementing conservation measures

A background paper summarizing the main points of the Strategy and the consultations, with information on corals and sponges in the Estuary and Gulf, as well as the important areas of concentration as identified in a Science Advisory Report.

Questionnaire

Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (ERAF) for Coldwater Corals and Sponge Dominated Communities

Research Document: Delineation of Coral and Sponge Significant Benthic Areas in Eastern Canada Using Kernel Density Analyses and Species Distribution Models

For more information please contact Maité Chavez, Regional Directorate of Fisheries Management for the Quebec Region, by email, at GP-FM-Quebec@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

GP-FM-Quebec@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

RQ0028 – Posted : December 14, 2017, 5:00 pm