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Ecological Results Canada



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Ecological Results Canada

  1. 1. Marine Spatial Planning in support of Environmental Protection in Canada’s marine waters Progress to date and lessons learned International Marine Spatial Planning Symposium May 2012
  2. 2. Outline • Legislative basis for EBM of the marine environment in Canada • Review of Canada’s Integrated Management Process • Ecological Assessment work • Preliminary environmental results: – MPA Case studies: Eastport, Gilbert Bay, the Gully • Moving to a National Network of Marine Protected Areas • Conclusions and Current Priorities (monitoring and reporting)
  3. 3. Canada’s approach to Ecosystem-Based Management of the Marine Environment Legislative basis • Based on Canadian legislation (Oceans Act: 1997) and policies (Canada’s Oceans Strategy and Oceans Action Plan: 2005/2007) Canada’s approach to EBM is currently carried out through Integrated Oceans Management and mainly consists of: – Understanding our ecosystems first and then; – Managing the activities that may effect them
  4. 4. Define and Assess Planning Area Identify & assess available information & knowledge Ecosystem Overviews & Socio-Economic & Cultural Assessments Canada’s Overview & Assessment - Social demographic data - Geophysical information - Industry use & potential - Ecological characteristics and Integrated - Cultural use and priorities processes - Existing licenses and rights - What resources exist (e.g. location, quantity, quality, etc) Work Ocean Completed Identification of Key Ecosystem Management Identification of Valued Economic, Social and Cultural Components: Components: e.g. EBSAs, to Date Significant Species, Planning e.g. VESCAs Community properties Process Identification of Identification of Conservation Objectives Socio-economic Objectives Strategic IOM Plan (High Level Goals and Objectives) Priority Setting & Pathways of Effects Development Risk Assessment (threats analysis) Identification of Required Management Measures Current Priorities Strategies / Action Plans Indicators Monitoring
  5. 5. Canada’s approach to Ecosystem-Based Management of the Marine Environment 1. Define and assess the management area: Large Ocean Management Area pilots • Ecosystem Overview and Assessment Reports
  6. 6. 2. Identification of key Ecosystem Components (e.g., EBSA, ESS, CP work) –These significant components become management priorities as they are translated into conservation objectives within Integrated Management plans for Large Ocean Management Areas (LOMAs) 3. Science-based conservation objectives identified for each LOMA 4. Development of a Strategic IOM plan –Upcoming LOMA reports (ESSIM evaluation and State of the Oceans reports)
  7. 7. Canada’s Marine Protected Areas • Majority of Canada’s MPAs established to meet specific conservation purposes and thus do not automatically prohibit all forms of ocean activities • Most designated sites have developed: – Management plans – Monitoring indicators and protocols
  8. 8. Eastport Marine Protected Area Location: northeast coast of Newfoundland • Designated in 2005 Conservation objective: • To maintain a viable population of lobster through the conservation, protection and sustainable use of resources and habitats in the Eastport Peninsula Lobster Management Area. Annual processes • An MPA Advisory Committee meeting, a Science feedback meeting, and a public meeting. Preliminary Results • Population of lobster in the area have been stable for a number of years. • Increase in average sizes of individuals, which may contribute to increased egg production. What’s next: • A revised management plan and a science monitoring plan are under development.
  9. 9. Gilbert Bay Marine Protected Area Location: Southeast coast of Labrador • Designated in 2005 Conservation objective: • The conservation and protection of the Gilbert Bay cod and its habitats. Preliminary Results • Preliminary results from science monitoring program suggest that the population of cod in the MPA are in decline. • Although evidence indicates that cod within the MPA boundary have grown larger, these cod are now moving outside the MPA to feed and are under fishing pressure while outside the MPA. Current Status and Next Steps: • Efforts are under way to try to delay the cod fishery opening in order to give the GB cod a chance to move back into the safety of the MPA when their feeding season is over (~mid September). • A new draft management plan and a science monitoring plan have been developed.
  10. 10. The Gully Marine Protected Area Location: Off the coast of Nova Scotia • Designated in 2004 Conservation objective: • Protect the health and integrity of the Gully ecosystem (e.g., natural biodiversity, physical structure, and productivity of the ecosystem) Preliminary Results • A management evaluation was conducted in 2010 to report against the commitments laid out in the Gully MPA Management Plan. • Key areas of evaluation (e.g., stakeholder interactions; education, stewardship and outreach, research and monitoring, capacity) What’s next: • An ecosystem monitoring plan is currently under development that will contain indicators, protocols, and strategies for evaluating the biophysical aspects of the Gully (i.e., primarily to address the conservation objectives).
  11. 11. Canada’s Marine Protected Area Planning Process: Lessons Learned What’s working well – Partnerships with stakeholders and community groups (e.g., governance bodies have helped avoid conflicts) – Collaboration with other federal departments and provinces/territories – Increasing capacity in Aboriginal organizations/communities – MPA program helping to advance other DFO/federal programs (e.g., Species at Risk – northern bottlenose whales in the Gully MPA) Challenges/Lessons Learned – Ongoing management of MPAs including ecological monitoring, requires significant and long-term resources – identifying measurable conservation objectives was an initial challenge
  12. 12. National Network of Marine Protected Areas: A tool to advance EBM implementation MPA networks can protect key life stages of important species • Canada is shifting from MPA planning on a case by case basis to bioregional MPA network planning. • MPA Networks can achieve more than a collection of individual sites (e.g., strengthen ecological resiliency, protect a given component along its life stages). Bocaccio is a rockfish found in the coastal waters of the eastern Pacific ocean
  13. 13. National Network of Marine Protected Areas: A tool to advance EBM implementation • National Framework for Canada’s Network of Marine Protected Areas released in 2011. • Network planning offers a more strategic, management approach to protected area planning (i.e., can apply the “right” F/P/T MPA tool in a given area). – To date, there are 810 F/P/T Marine Protected Areas, covering 1% of Canada’s oceans. • Canada’s network of MPAs under development – Currently looking at international examples wrt the setting of Network objectives and monitoring
  14. 14. Conclusions • Adequate capacity to conduct monitoring in necessary to demonstrate the impact of management actions on ecosystem health. • Transparent reporting on results can help stakeholders understand the challenges and constraints faced by ocean managers, and can help build cooperation and support for initiatives. • Repeated assessments provide an opportunity to collect information in a regular, structured way to allow for trends monitoring and to make course corrections when required. • We need to build monitoring frameworks to report against high-level ecosystem objectives. – Canada is looking at international approaches to ecosystem assessment with a view to enhance our current assessment and reporting framework.
  15. 15. Thank you! Danna Campbell Fisheries and Oceans Canada