A Network of Marine Protected Areas for the Conservation of Ecosystems in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
In collaboration with its partners, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committed to conserving coastal and marine ecosystems by means of Marine Protected Area Networks. The Minister therefore intends to work with other federal departments and provincial governments to develop a network to conserve natural resources in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
A network of Marine Protected Areas supports the conservation and sustainable management of living marine resources and their habitats. The Department also wants to preserve both the economic (such as fishing and tourism) and environmental values associated with marine resources.
Various steps are involved in designing and implementing this network of Marine Protected Areas. We must determine the conservation objectives; collect and analyze the ecological, economic, social and cultural data; and establish different scenarios to develop it. The network will be developed in consultation with Aboriginal groups and key stakeholders.
Throughout the network development process, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and its partners will contact all groups concerned to provide them with up-to-date information on network development; invite them to provide economic, social and cultural information; and ask them to share their views and concerns about the various network implementation options.
Earlier in the year, provincial governments and Aboriginal groups were informed and invited to provide comments on the proposed process. Other engagement activities are planned for each design phase.
Discussions on forthcoming network scenarios will serve to complete a map listing the important sites to be protected. Once completed, this map will be used by the relevant government authorities to identify potential sites and determine the order of priorities for the creation of future Marine Protected Areas. Separate consultation activities will be conducted subsequently for each selected Area of Interest.
The collaboration of stakeholders is a key to success in developing and implementing the Marine Protected Area Network!
What is a Marine Protected Area Network?
Marine Protected Areas are a tool for the long-term protection of marine biodiversity, ecosystem functions and special features of the marine environment. A network is a series of Marine Protected Areas that operate cooperatively to provide more benefits than individual sites could alone.