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2005 September Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Case study 1.1—Integrated management areas

2005 September Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

September 2005 Report—Chapter 1

Case study 1.1—Integrated management areas

The Eastern Scotian Shelf Integrated Management Initiative (Eastern Scotian Shelf)

Background. The Eastern Scotian Shelf area is about 325,000 square kilometers in size. It is situated south-east of Nova Scotia and focusses on activities beyond 12 nautical miles from shore. It was announced in December 1998.

Development of an integrated management approach. Before the issuance of the 2002 Policy and Operational Framework for Integrated Management of Estuarine, Coastal and Marine Environments in Canada, the Department's Maritime Region focussed its efforts on establishing an oceans office and defining the process to be undertaken.

The Region carried out activities necessary to gain an understanding of the existing oceans-related governance structures, ecosystems, and human uses of the area.

The Eastern Scotian Shelf is a multi-stakeholder, collaborative, planning process with the aim to develop and implement an integrated oceans-management plan. Extensive consultations have been carried out with stakeholders and at the federal and provincial levels of government. The intention is to have the plan accepted by all stakeholders, endorsed by legislative and regulatory authorities, and approved by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans under the Oceans Act.

Development of a draft management plan. In February 2005, the Department released the draft Eastern Scotian Shelf Management Plan (2006–11) for input from stakeholders. The draft plan sets out a detailed process for future oceans planning and management. Ecosystem and human-use objectives have been identified through the collaborative planning approach, and operational objectives are being reviewed by stakeholders. It is yet to be determined whether stakeholders and the federal and provincial governments will accept the Eastern Scotian Shelf approach to integrated management planning.

Benefits from the planning process. The Eastern Scotian Shelf has provided an opportunity for stakeholders representing different interests to meet. The Eastern Scotian Shelf consultations identified concerns about deep sea corals. A working group on the Eastern Scotian Shelf Initiative assisted the Department in developing a draft Coral Conservation Plan in February 2005. Also, the working group played a role in the Department protecting, through fisheries regulations, the Lophelia Coral Conservation Area. The Gully Marine Protected Area also provides protection to the deep sea corals within its boundaries.

Source: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area

Background. The Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (Pacific North Coast) is 88,000 square kilometres stretching from the northwest coast of Vancouver Island to the Canada-Alaska border. The Department's Pacific Coast integrated management efforts have explored different approaches over time, in different coastal areas.

Concern. Stakeholders are being engaged, but the overall slow progress raises concern about the timely achievement of intended results, that is, improved planning and decision making that incorporates ecosystem considerations.

Key integrated management initiatives since 1998