An analysis of an evaluation of deep-water coral conservation and management initiatives in the Canadian Maritimes
Deller, Sarah Elizabeth
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Protected areas have been identified as the tool of choice for marine conservation, however, their implementation and use can only be deemed successful if regular evaluation of their management occurs. The purpose of this study is to create an evaluation framework and complete the framework to determine whether Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Maritimes Region (DFO) is effectively managing the conservation of deep-water corals off the coasts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Using objectives and actions outlined in the Coral Conservation Plan, created by DFO in 2006, an evaluation of the Northeast Channel and Lophelia Coral Conservation Areas was completed. Findings indicate that there are several general challenges that impede the ability of DFO to effectively manage coral conservation in the Maritimes including: vague language throughout the Coral Conservation Plan, a lack of communication andcollaboration with other research bodies, and a general lack of resources such as funding and personnel. Further analysis of the evaluation process and management actions, including an examination of tactics used in Norway, the United States and the United Kingdom, suggests that DFO may view deep-water coral conservation management more positively than is deserved. Recommendations for legislation and management planning, ecological and socioeconomic criteria are provided to improve conservation management of deep-water coral ecosystems in the Canadian Maritimes.