List of marine refuges

Fisheries management measures in Canadian waters that provide marine refuge to fish, mammals and their habitat and qualify as other effective area-based conservation measures are listed below. These measures are intended to be in place for the long-term, so they will make a lasting contribution to marine conservation. As of December 21, 2017, these measures represent approximately 275,000 km2 and 4.78% of protected marine territory in Canada. With all marine protected areas and marine refuges considered to date, Canada has protected approximately 446,000 km2 or 7.75% of Canada’s marine and coastal areas.

In consultation with affected parties, DFO is exploring additional opportunities to identify or establish new measures that have biodiversity conservation benefits, so that their contributions to the marine conservation targets can be recognized.

Transcript

What is a marine refuge?

It is a fisheries management measures that helps protect fish, mammals, and their habitats.

To be considered a marine refuge, the management measure must meet 5 criteria:

  1. Have a clearly defined geographic location
  2. Contain an important species and important habitat
  3. Have a stock management or conservation objective directly related to these species or habitat
  4. Intended to be long term
  5. Prohibit current or future human activities that could be harmful

Marine refuges contribute to Canada’s marine conservation targets.

To learn more visit: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans/

Name Description Province Bioregion
Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound Glass Sponge Reef Conservation objective: 9 area closures to protect glass sponge reefs.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all bottom-contacting commercial, recreational, and food for social and ceremonial fishing activities.
British Columbia B.C. BC Strait of Georgia
Scallop Buffer Zones (SFA 21, 22, 24) Conservation objective: to protect juvenile lobster habitat.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits scallop dragging.
New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia N.B. NB P.E.I. PEI N.S. NS Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Division 3O Coral Closure Conservation objective: to protect coral and sponges.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all bottom fishing activities.
Newfoundland and Labrador NFLD N.L. NL Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves
Bay of Islands Salmon Migration Conservation objective: to protect Atlantic salmon migratory area.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all pelagic fixed gear fisheries.
Newfoundland and Labrador NFLD N.L. NL Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Lobster Area closures (Trout River, Shoal Point, Penguin Islands, Gooseberry Island, Glovers Harbour, Mouse Island and Gander Bay) Conservation objective: to increase lobster spawning and egg production.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all lobster fishing.
Newfoundland and Labrador NFLD N.L. NL Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves; Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Jordan Basin Conservation Area Conservation objective: to protect cold water corals.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all commercial bottom-contact fishing gear.
Nova Scotia N.S. NS Scotian Shelf
Corsair and Georges Canyons Conservation Area (restricted bottom fisheries zone) Conservation objective: to protect cold water corals.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all commercial bottom-contact fishing gear.
Nova Scotia N.S. NS Scotian Shelf
Northeast Channel Coral Conservation Area (restricted bottom fisheries zone) Conservation objective: to protect cold water corals.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all commercial bottom-contact fishing gear.
Nova Scotia N.S. NS Scotian Shelf
Emerald Basin and Sambro Bank Sponge Conservation Areas Conservation objective: to protect globally unique concentration of Vazella pourtalesi, a structure-forming species of glass sponge.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all commercial bottom-contact fishing gear.
Nova Scotia N.S. NS Scotian Shelf
Lophelia Coral Conservation Area Conservation objective: to protect the only known living Lophelia pertusa coral reef in Canada’s Atlantic waters.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all commercial bottom-contact fishing gear.
Nova Scotia N.S. NS Scotian Shelf
Magdalen Islands lagoons (6 overlapping fisheries area closures) Conservation objective: to protect lobster habitat and conserve herring spawning areas.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits hydraulic dredging fishing for the Atlantic razor clam and the Atlantic surf clam, gill net and square net fishing for winter flounder, gill net fishing for Atlantic herring, pelagic trawling, Danish and Scottish seine fishing for the yellowtail flounder and winter flounder, and American lobster trap fishing.
Quebec QC Q.C. Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Les Demoiselles nursery (Plaisance Bay), Magdalen Islands Closure Conservation objective: to protect habitat used as a nursery ground for juvenile lobster.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits hydraulic dredging for Atlantic surf clam and Atlantic razor clam, otter trawling, and Danish and Scottish seine fishing for the winter flounder, witch flounder, yellowtail flounder, and American plaice.
Quebec QC Q.C. Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Saguenay Fjord Upstream Closure Conservation objective: to protect habitat for the beluga whale, a mammal designated as endangered and listed as threatened in the Species at Risk Act, and to avoid stirring up contaminants contained in the river’s sediments.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits otter trawl fishing for all species.
Quebec QC Q.C. Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Western/Emerald Banks Conservation Area (restricted fisheries zone) Conservation objective: Support productivity objectives for groundfish species of Aboriginal, commercial, and/or recreational importance, particularly NAFO Division 4VW haddock; Manage the disturbance of benthic habitat that supports juvenile and adult haddock and other groundfish species.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all commercial and recreational fisheries using bottom-contact gear and/or gear known to interact with groundfish.
Nova Scotia NS N.S. Scotian Shelf
Miramichi Bay Closure Conservation objective: Protect adult Atlantic salmon and an important migration corridor.
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits the use of gillnets for all commercial groundfish fisheries.
New Brunswick NB N.B. Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Eastern Honguedo Strait Coral and Sponge Conservation Area Conservation objective: Cold-water coral and sponge protection
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all fishing that uses bottom-contact gear, such as bottom trawls, dredges, bottom seining, traps, gillnets, and bottom longlines.
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador QC Q.C. NB N.B. NS N.S. PEI P.E.I. NFLD NL Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Parent Bank Sponge Conservation Area Conservation objective: Cold-water sponge protection
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all fishing that uses bottom-contact gear, such as bottom trawls, dredges, bottom seining, traps, gillnets, and bottom longlines.
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador QC Q.C. NB N.B. NS N.S. PEI P.E.I. NFLD NL Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Jacques-Cartier Strait Sponge Conservation Area Conservation objective: Cold-water sponge protection
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all fishing that uses bottom-contact gear, such as bottom trawls, dredges, bottom seining, traps, gillnets, and bottom longlines.
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador QC Q.C. NB N.B. NS N.S. PEI P.E.I. NFLD NL Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Beaugé Bank Sponge Conservation Area Conservation objective: Cold-water sponge protection
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all fishing that uses bottom-contact gear, such as bottom trawls, dredges, bottom seining, traps, gillnets, and bottom longlines.
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador QC Q.C. NB N.B. NS N.S. PEI P.E.I. NFLD NL Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Western Honguedo Strait Coral Conservation Area Conservation objective: Cold-water coral protection
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all fishing that uses bottom-contact gear, such as bottom trawls, dredges, bottom seining, traps, gillnets, and bottom longlines.
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador QC Q.C. NB N.B. NS N.S. PEI P.E.I. NFLD NL Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Slope of Magdalen Shallows Coral Conservation Area Conservation objective: Cold-water coral protection
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all fishing that uses bottom-contact gear, such as bottom trawls, dredges, bottom seining, traps, gillnets, and bottom longlines.
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador QC Q.C. NB N.B. NS N.S. PEI P.E.I. NFLD NL Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Eastern Gulf of St. Lawrence Coral Conservation Area Conservation objective: Cold-water coral protection
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all fishing that uses bottom-contact gear, such as bottom trawls, dredges, bottom seining, traps, gillnets, and bottom longlines.
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador QC Q.C. NB N.B. NS N.S. PEI P.E.I. NFLD NL Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
East of Anticosti Island Sponge Conservation Area Conservation objective: Cold-water sponge protection
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all fishing that uses bottom-contact gear, such as bottom trawls, dredges, bottom seining, traps, gillnets, and bottom longlines.
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador QC Q.C. NB N.B. NS N.S. PEI P.E.I. NFLD NL Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Central Gulf of St. Lawrence Coral Conservation Area Conservation objective: Cold-water coral protection
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all fishing that uses bottom-contact gear, such as bottom trawls, dredges, bottom seining, traps, gillnets, and bottom longlines.
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador QC Q.C. NB N.B. NS N.S. PEI P.E.I. NFLD NL Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
South-East of Anticosti Island Sponge Conservation Area Conservation objective: Cold-water sponge protection
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all fishing that uses bottom-contact gear, such as bottom trawls, dredges, bottom seining, traps, gillnets, and bottom longlines.
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador QC Q.C. NB N.B. NS N.S. PEI P.E.I. NFLD NL Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
North of Bennett Bank Coral Conservation Area Conservation objective: Cold-water coral protection
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all fishing that uses bottom-contact gear, such as bottom trawls, dredges, bottom seining, traps, gillnets, and bottom longlines.
Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador QC Q.C. NB N.B. NS N.S. PEI P.E.I. NFLD NL Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence
Offshore Pacific Seamounts and Vents Closure Conservation objective: Protect seamounts, hydrothermal vents and the ecosystems they support
Prohibited Activities: Prohibits all bottom-contact commercial and recreational fishing activities.
British ColumbiaBC B.C. Offshore Pacific
Hawke Channel Closure Conservation objective: Conserve benthic habitat and Atlantic cod
Prohibited Activities: Bottom trawl, gillnet, and longline.
Newfoundland and LabradorNFLD NL N.F.L.D. N.L. Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves
Funk Island Deep Closure Conservation objective: Conserve benthic habitat and Atlantic cod
Prohibited Activities: Bottom trawl, gillnet, and longline.
Newfoundland and LabradorNFLD NL N.F.L.D. N.L. Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves
Hopedale Saddle Closure Conservation objective: Protect corals and sponges and contribute to the long-term conservation of biodiversity.
Prohibited Activities: All bottom-contact fishing activities.
Newfoundland and LabradorNFLD NL N.F.L.D. N.L. Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves
Hatton Basin Conservation Area Conservation objective: To conserve sensitive benthic areas.
Prohibited Activities: All bottom-contact fishing activities.
Nunavut and Newfoundland and LabradorNL N.L. NFLD NU N.U. Eastern Arctic and Newfoundland-Labrador Shelves
Northeast Newfoundland Slope Closure Conservation objective: Protect corals and sponges and contribute to the long term conservation of biodiversity.
Prohibited Activities: All bottom contact fishing activities.
Newfoundland and LabradorNL N.L. NFLD Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves
Davis Strait Conservation Area Conservation objective: To conserve sensitive benthic areas.
Prohibited Activities: All bottom-contact fishing activities.
NunavutNU N.U. Eastern Arctic
Disko Fan Conservation Area (portion closed to all bottom-contact fishing) Conservation objective: Minimize impacts on winter food source and overwintering habitat for narwhal; Conserve coral concentrations.
Prohibited Activities: All bottom-contact fishing activities.
NunavutNU N.U. Eastern Arctic
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