A TECHNICAL REVIEW OF CANADA'S OTHER EFFECTIVE AREA-BASED CONSERVATION MEASURES: ALIGNMENT WITH DFO GUIDANCE, IUCN- WCPA GUIDANCE AND CBD SBSTTA ...

 
A TECHNICAL REVIEW OF CANADA'S OTHER EFFECTIVE AREA-BASED CONSERVATION MEASURES: ALIGNMENT WITH DFO GUIDANCE, IUCN- WCPA GUIDANCE AND CBD SBSTTA ...
A Technical Review of
                 Canada’s Other Effective Area-
                 Based CONSERVATION Measures:
                 Alignment with DFO Guidance, IUCN-
                 WCPA Guidance and CBD SBSTTA
                 Guidance

                 Travis Aten and Susanna D. Fuller

                 with contributions from Roberta Clowater, Kim
                 Wright and Sarah Saunders

                 January 2019

© Nick Hawkins
A TECHNICAL REVIEW OF CANADA'S OTHER EFFECTIVE AREA-BASED CONSERVATION MEASURES: ALIGNMENT WITH DFO GUIDANCE, IUCN- WCPA GUIDANCE AND CBD SBSTTA ...
PREAMBLE
In April 2018, new oil and gas leases were
announced by the Canada-Newfoundland                      SEABLUE CANADA
and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board               SeaBlue Canada is an alliance of Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (ENGOs) that
(CNLOPB) within the Northeast Newfoundland          are cooperating in advocating for a better protected ocean. Specifically, SeaBlue advocates for
Shelf Closure. In May 2018, the Canada-Nova         stronger protection standards for our existing marine protected areas and an expansion of the
Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB)            area protected to meet Canada’s goal of 10% protection by 2020. SeaBlue Canada is: Canadian
delayed announcement of 2018 bids in order          Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, Oceans North,
to further engage with Fisheries and Oceans         West Coast Environmental Law, and WWF-Canada.
Canada on overlap of oil and gas bid areas
and fisheries closures in place currently, as
well as overlap with future protections in                       ACRONYM LIST
the draft MPA network plan for Maritimes                          CBD         Convention on Biological Diversity
Region. In October 2018, the National Advisory
Panel on Marine Protected Area Standards                          CCEA        Canadian Council on Ecological Areas
recommended that oil and gas be prohibited
                                                                  CNLOPB      Canada – Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board
in MPAs, but not OECMs. On November 7,
2018 the CNLOPB awarded exploratory leases                        CNSOPB      Canada – Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board
within the Northeast Newfoundland Shelf
Conservation Area. These situations underscore                    DFO         Fisheries and Oceans Canada
the importance of protecting areas fully under                    EBSA        Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area
protected area legislation and significantly
weakens the federal government’s efforts                          ECCC        Environment and Climate Change Canada
to protect areas under the Fisheries Act.                         IUCN        International Union for Conservation of Nature
Rectifying this situation is critical to Canada’s
international reputation and declared                             OECM        Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measure
leadership on marine protection.
                                                                  MPA         Marine Protected Area
                                                                  NMCA        National Marine Conservation Area
                                                                  SBA         Sensitive Benthic Area
                                                                  SBSTTA      The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice
                                                                  UNGA        United Nations General Assembly
                                                                  UNDRIP      United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
                                                                  WCPA        World Commission on Protected Areas
                                   © Nick Hawkins
A TECHNICAL REVIEW OF CANADA'S OTHER EFFECTIVE AREA-BASED CONSERVATION MEASURES: ALIGNMENT WITH DFO GUIDANCE, IUCN- WCPA GUIDANCE AND CBD SBSTTA ...
table of contentS
SEABLUE CANADA                                                  4    Figures
Acknowledgements                                                4    Figure 1 – Canadian OECMs
Executive Summary                                               4    Figure 2 – Proportion of total area protected by Canadian OECMs, by
Other Effective AREA-BASED Conservation Measures (OECMs)             category
assessed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada by Management           6
Region                                                               Figure 3 – Spectrum of OECMs satisfying DFO Guidance
01 | iNTRODUCTION                                               9    Figure 4 – Spectrum of OECMs satisfying IUCN-WCPA Guidance
02 | Review of OECM Guidance                                    11   Figure 5 – Spectrum of OECMs satisfying CBD SBSTTA Guidance
03 | Assessment Methodology                                     13

04 | Results and Key Observations                               16
                                                                     Tables
   04.1 | ASSESSMENT OF INDIVIIDUAL OECMs AGAINST GUIDANCE      16
                                                                     Table 1 – Recommendations to improve protection of Canada’s OECMs
   04.2 | ASSESSMENT OF OECMs by category                       20
                                                                     Table 2 – Recommendations for improvement to specific OECMs
05 | Towards improving conservation outcomes                    25
                                                                     to achieve alignment with DFO and IUCN-WCPA and CBD SBSTTA
06 | Recommendations                                            26   Guidance
07 | cONCLUSION                                                 27
                                                                     Table 3 – Scoring ranges for OECMs against DFO, IUCN-WCPA and
bIBLIOGRAPHY                                                    28   CBD SBSTTA Guidance
Appendix I: DFO Operational Guidance for Identifying Marine          Table 4 – OECMs by Category (Sensitive Benthic Areas, Multi-Species
                                                                30
OECMs
                                                                     and Single Species) and total area of individual and grouped sites
Appendix II: Draft IUCN-WCPA OECM Screening Tool                31
                                                                     Table 5 - Percentage scores for individual OECMs by DFO, IUCN-WCPA
Appendix III: OECM Definition and Screening Tool as agreed at        and CBD SBSTTA Guidance
                                                                33
CBD SBSTTA July 2018

Appendix IV: Comparison Table of DFO, draft IUCN-WCPA and
                                                                     Table 6 - Analysis by area assessed as meeting DFO, IUCN-WCPA and
CBD SBSTTA operational guidelines for OECMs
                                                                35   CBD SBSTTA guidance for OECMs.
Appendix V: Analysis of Canadian OECMs                          39   Table 7 - Overview summaries for OECM categories against the
   Sensitive Benthic Area OECMs                                 39
                                                                     criterion
   Multi-species OECMs                                          52

   Single Species OECMs                                         58   Annexes
ANNEX 1: DFO PERSPECTIVES ON ELEMENTS OF THE TECHNICAL               Annex 1 – Fisheries and Oceans Canada perspectives on elements of
                                                                63
REPORT
                                                                     the technical report
A TECHNICAL REVIEW OF CANADA'S OTHER EFFECTIVE AREA-BASED CONSERVATION MEASURES: ALIGNMENT WITH DFO GUIDANCE, IUCN- WCPA GUIDANCE AND CBD SBSTTA ...
sEABLUE cANADA

                     executive summarY
                     Since 2015, Canada has made significant strides                    To determine if Canada’s OECMs effectively
                     in meeting its international commitments on                        contribute towards Aichi Target 11 we used
                     marine protection and conservation under                           a novel scoring approach to evaluate all of
                     United Nations Convention on Biological                            Canada’s OECMs (51 sites) against guidance
                     Diversity (CBD) Aichi Target 11. Achievements                      developed by three different entities - Fisheries
                     as of June 2018 include the establishment of                       and Oceans Canada (DFO), the International
                     the St. Anns Bank, Hecate Strait and Queen                         Union for Conservation of Nature’s World
                     Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs, and                            Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN-WCPA),
                     Anguniaqvia Niqiqyuam marine protected                             and the Convention on Biological Diversity’s
                     areas (MPAs) under the Oceans Act; as                              Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and
                     well an agreement on a final boundary for                          Technological Advice (CBD SBSTTA). We also
                     the Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine                             categorized three types of OECMs – those
                     Conservation Area (NMCA). However, much of                         protected under DFO’s Sensitive Benthic
                     Canada’s progress on reaching Aichi Target                         Areas Policy (SBA), those considered to protect
                     11 has been achieved through Other Effective                       multiple species and those designated through
                     Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs)1                          a single species measure.
                     - with the focus of these measures solely on
                     fisheries area closures. As of December 2018,
                     4.48% (277,712.3 km2) of the 7.9% announced as
                     protected has been achieved through Fisheries
                     Act closures. Measures under the Fisheries Act
                     can only be used to protect areas from the
                     impacts of fishing and may prohibit activities
                     which are deemed to negatively impact fish
                     habitat, but do not provide for full protection of
                     biodiversity. These sites have been designated
                     OECMs prior to agreed international guidance
                     regarding what constitutes an effective OECM,
                     resulting in some controversy and concern
                     about the precedent these sites may set on the
                     international stage.
                     1 We have used the internationally accepted acronym for other
    © Nick Hawkins   effective area-based conservation measures “OECMs” – rather than
                     the terms used by DFO – “OEABCM” or “marine refuges” – to align
                     with international standards and terminology.

4                                                                                                                         SeaBlue Canada
A TECHNICAL REVIEW OF CANADA'S OTHER EFFECTIVE AREA-BASED CONSERVATION MEASURES: ALIGNMENT WITH DFO GUIDANCE, IUCN- WCPA GUIDANCE AND CBD SBSTTA ...
sEABLUE cANADA

          FIGURE 2. Proportion of total area        within OECMs are likely to meet CBD SBSTTA
          protected by Canadian OECMs, by           criteria, 40% are unlikely to meet the criteria
          category                                  and 20% did not meet CBD SBSTTA criteria.
                   Single Species   Multi-Species
                      OECMs           OECMs         The majority of Canada’s OECMs do not have
                         3%              13%        a management and monitoring plan outside
                                                    of fisheries management and as such their
                                                    effectiveness over time may not be adequately
                                                    assessed. Consequently, this means that in-situ
                                                    biodiversity conservation is not being achieved
                                                    or may not be achieved. We recognize that
                                                    Canada has used the Fisheries Act as a means
                                                    to protect areas largely due to the timeframe in
                                                    which progress needs to be made and because
                                                    other legislative mechanisms including
                                                    Canada’s Oceans Act and the Canada National
                    SBA OECMs                       Marine Conservation Areas Act require
                       84%
                                                    extensive consultation and multi-stakeholder
                                                    processes as well as comprehensive regulatory
                                                    changes.

Of the 233,498 km2 of ocean protected               Based on the results of our analysis, we
within OECMs, the majority (84% by area)            provide general recommendations to improve
are protected as SBA closures, multi-species        Canada’s OECMs, to provide for greater
closures protect an additional 13% and single       biodiversity conservation and to ensure Canada
species closures protect the remaining 3% of        accomplishes its international targets. We also
the total area. Using our scoring methodology,      provide recommendations for improvements
we found that 73% of the area protected             to individual OECMs that, if addressed, could
within OECMs either fully or likely met DFO         improve protections within these areas. Finally,
criteria, while 27% were unlikely to meet DFO       we explore other forms of OECMs that Canada
criteria. While 61% of the area protected within    could pursue to contribute towards its progress
OECMs was either fully or likely to meet the        on achieving 10% marine protection by 2020.
IUCN-WCPA criteria, 36% was unlikely to meet
the criteria and 3% did not meet IUCN-WCPA
criteria. Finally, 40% of the area protected                                                           © Nick Hawkins

SeaBlue Canada                                                                                                          5
A TECHNICAL REVIEW OF CANADA'S OTHER EFFECTIVE AREA-BASED CONSERVATION MEASURES: ALIGNMENT WITH DFO GUIDANCE, IUCN- WCPA GUIDANCE AND CBD SBSTTA ...
sEABLUE cANADA
FIGURE 1

Canadian Other Effective Area-based
Conservation Measures                                                                                                                                        B
                                                                                                                                                                                      7vi
                                                                                                                                                                                                       7v
           19ix
                                                                                                                                                                                               7vii
     A      19viii                                                                                                                                           7i
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7iv

                     19vii                    19iv                                                                                                           7ii             8
                                19vi                                                                                                                                                                                                                                17xi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        C
                                                                                                                                                                                 0      50    100
                        19iii
                                                                                                                                                                                     Kilometers
                                              19v
                                                                                                                                                                                             7iii                                                                   17v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        17ii                                                                 17viii
                                                                                                                                                         6                                                  17i                                         17iv
                                       19ii
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Esri, DeLorme, GEBCO, NOAA NGDC, and other contributors

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      17ix            17x
                                                                                                                                                                                                            17vii         17iii
                                                                                                                                                                   20                                                                               17vi
                                                 Legend                                                                                                                                                                                                                             3
                                  19i                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2
                                                          Multi-species OECMs                                  Sensitive Benthic Areas                                  21                                                                                0             50 100
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  10i
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Kilometers
                                                 1. Western Emerald Banks Conservation Area           12 Corsair and Georges Canyon Conservation Area                                                                              9                                                          10iii
                                                 2. Les Desmoiselles Nursery Closure                  13 Jordan Basin Conservation Area
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  10ii
                                                 3. Magdalen Islands 6 Lagoon Closures                14 Lophelia Coral Conservation Area
                                                 4. Hawke Channel Closure                             15 Emerald Basin and Sambro Bank Sponge Conservation Area
                                                 5. Funk Island Deep Closure                                  15i Emerald Basin                   15ii Sambro Bank
                                                                                                                                                                                                      22                                                                                                    Esri, DeLorme, GEBCO, NOAA NGDC, and other contributors

                                                 6. Disko Fan Conservation Area                       16 Northeast Channel Coral Conservation Area
                                                                                                      17 Quebec Coral and Sponge Closures/Conservation Areas                                                                       24
                                                          Single Species OECMs                                17i Parent Bank                     17vii Western Honguedo Strait                                     4
                                                                                                              17ii Jacques-Cartier Strait         17viii Central Gulf of St. Lawrence
                                                 7. 7 Lobster Closures
                                                         7i Trout River         7v Gander Bay
                                                                                                              17iii Eastern Honguedo Strait       17ix Slope of Magdalen Shallows
                                                                                                              17iv South-East of Anticosti Island 17x Eastern Gulf of St. Lawrence
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  B                5

                                                         7ii Shoal Point        7vi Glovers Harbour           17v East of Anticosti Island        17xi Beaugé Bank
                                                         7iii Penguin Islands 7vii Mouse Island
                                                                                                                                                                                                    C
      18                                                                                                      17vi North of Bennett Bank
                                                         7iv Gooseberry Island                        18 Pacific Offshore Seamounts and Vents Conservation Area
                                                 8 Bay of Islands Salmon Migration                    19 Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound Sponge Reef Closures
                                                 9 Miramichi Bay Closure                                      19i Outer Gulf Islands                      19vi Halibut Bank
                     A                           10 Scallop Buffer Zones
                                                         10i Scallop Buffer SFA 21
                                                                                                              19ii Foreslope Hill
                                                                                                              19iii Gabriola Island
                                                                                                                                                          19vii Sechelt
                                                                                                                                                          19viii Parksville
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    23
                                                         10ii Scallop Buffer SFA 22                           19iv Howe Sound Defence Islands             19ix East Hornby Island                                                           14
                                                         10iii Scallop Buffer SFA 24                          19v Howe Sound Queen Charlotte Channel
                                                 11 Saguenay Fjord Upstream                                                                                              11
                                                                                                      20 Davis Strait Conservation Area
                                                     0     250      500              1,000 Km         21 Hatton Basin Conservation Area                                                                         15i            1
                                                                                                      22 Hopedale Saddle Closure                                                                              15ii
                                                                                                      23 3O Coral Closure
                                                                                                      24 Northeast Newfoundland Slope Closure                                                          13
                                                                                                                                                                                                             16
                                                                                                                                                                                                             12

 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               SeaBlue Canada
A TECHNICAL REVIEW OF CANADA'S OTHER EFFECTIVE AREA-BASED CONSERVATION MEASURES: ALIGNMENT WITH DFO GUIDANCE, IUCN- WCPA GUIDANCE AND CBD SBSTTA ...
sEABLUE cANADA

                                                                   ,
          TABLE 1. Recommendations to improve protection for Canada s OECMs

                         The Parliament of Canada should adopt changes to the Fisheries Act, including provisions for ecologically sensitive areas
 Recommendation 1
                         which would make OECMs protections permanent, as proposed in Bill C-6.8
                  DFO should ensure that OECMs protected under the Policy to Manage the Impacts of Bottom Fishing on Sensitive
                  Benthic Areas are following, at minimum, DFO Newfoundland and Labrador’s science guidance of 70% protection for coral
 Recommendation 2
                  and sponge areas and ideally protect 100% of areas identified as significant benthic areas. In doing so, long term in-situ
                  biodiversity conservation is more likely to be achieved and ‘size’ criterion is more likely to be satisfied.
                  Use the ecological components identified as part of the Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area (EBSA) process as
                  the basis for the conservation objective(s) for an OECM where there are overlaps between an EBSA and an OECM. This is
 Recommendation 3
                  especially true in OECMs where it appears that only a single species is being managed in an area in which there are other
                  ecologically or biologically significant species and habitats that could be conserved within the same boundary.
                  When designing new OECMs, ensure that an ecosystem-based approach, rather than a single species approach, is being
                  pursued. This is necessary to guarantee that in-situ biodiversity conservation is being achieved and aides in determining
 Recommendation 4
                  if the closure aligns with Aichi Target 11, or more closely aligns with targets such as Aichi Target 6 (E.g. Gulf of St. Lawrence
                  Scallop Buffer Zones).
                  The Government of Canada, as a matter of urgency, should complete a review of the Offshore Accord Agreements for Nova
                  Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador with the intention of ensuring oil and gas is prohibited in all OECMs in Atlantic
 Recommendation 5
                  Canada. While changes to the Canada Petroleum Resources Act included in Bill C-55 allow for cancellation of existing
                  leases in marine protected areas, this does not currently apply to Atlantic Canada, and will not apply at all for OECMs.
                  Ensure that ecological monitoring and surveillance is taking place within all OECMs and that any monitoring is not
 Recommendation 6 causing further ecological damage to the area under protection. This includes prohibiting annual trawl surveys in OECMs
                  protected under the Sensitive Benthic Areas policy. Additionally, this research and monitoring data should be made public.
                  Assess potential for other managed, closed or protected areas outside the jurisdiction of the Fisheries and Oceans Canada
                  that may lead to in-situ biodiversity conservation and may be considered as a potential OECM, as per IUCN-WCPA
 Recommendation 7
                  guidance. Examples include: Indigenous Protected/Conserved Areas, ship wrecks, war graves, munitions dumps, National
                  Historic Sites, etc
                  DFO should develop a process to transition OECMs established under the Fisheries Act to full MPAs under the Oceans
                  Act, where appropriate. Candidate sites should include OECMs such as the Western/Emerald Banks Conservation Area
 Recommendation 8 and Strait of Georgia Glass Sponge Reef closures, where the objectives and conservation measures effectively target
                  biodiversity conservation, but where activities outside the jurisdiction of DFO have the potential to negatively impact the
                  ecosystem.

SeaBlue Canada                                                                                                                                 7
A TECHNICAL REVIEW OF CANADA'S OTHER EFFECTIVE AREA-BASED CONSERVATION MEASURES: ALIGNMENT WITH DFO GUIDANCE, IUCN- WCPA GUIDANCE AND CBD SBSTTA ...
sEABLUE cANADA

           .
    TABLE 2 Recommendations for improvement to specific OECMs to achieve alignment with DFO, IUCN-WCPA and CBD
    SBSTTA guidance

                REGULATORY IMPROVEMENTS                                                            OECMs
                                                                       Corsair & Georges Canyon Conservation Area
                                                                       Lophelia Coral Closure
                                                                       Emerald Basin and Sambro Bank Sponge Conservation Area
                                                                       Hatton Basin Conservation Area
        Prohibit oil and gas activities*
                                                                       Hopedale Saddle Conservation Area
                                                                       Western and Emerald Bank Conservation Area
                                                                       Hawke Channel Closure
                                                                       Funk Island Deep Closure
                                                                       Jordan Basin Conservation Area
        Prohibit oil and gas and increase protection of known SBAs     Division 30 Coral Closure
                                                                       Northeast Newfoundland Slope Closure
        Prohibit oil and gas, increase protection of known SBAs, and
                                                                       Quebec Coral and Sponge Closures**
        implement marine mammal protections
        Restrict recreational boating and anchoring                    Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound Sponge Reef Closures
                                                                       7 Lobster Closures
        Broaden conservation objectives to align with overlapping      Bay of Islands Salmon Migration Area
        EBSAs, ensure effective regulation of non-fisheries, assess    Miramichi Bay Closure
        size of these areas to ensure tangible outcomes                Scallop Buffer Zone Closures
                                                                       Les Demoiselles Nursery Closure
        Restrict land based activities that pose a threat to marine
                                                                       Saguenay Fjord Upstream Closure*
        mammals, further regulate marine activities
                                                                       Northeast Channel Coral Conservation Area
        Designate planned Oceans Act Protected Areas
                                                                       Pacific Offshore Seamounts Conservation Area

        *Because there are currently no nearshore oil and gas activities, we focused this recommendation on areas that are either currently
        within a leasing block by one of the Offshore Petroleum Boards or expected to be within a leasing area in the forseable future. The
        west coast has a moratorium on oil and gas drilling.
        ** 2018 North Atlantic right whale conservation measures and 2018 Marine Mammal measures contribute to improved conservation
        outcomes in these areas.

8                                                                                                                                             SeaBlue Canada
A TECHNICAL REVIEW OF CANADA'S OTHER EFFECTIVE AREA-BASED CONSERVATION MEASURES: ALIGNMENT WITH DFO GUIDANCE, IUCN- WCPA GUIDANCE AND CBD SBSTTA ...
sEABLUE cANADA

01 introduction
In response to a commitment in the 2015            In order to achieve these goals, DFO developed       The current IUCN-WCPA accepted definition of
Mandate Letter to the Minister of Fisheries,       a five-point plan in which they committed            an OECM is:
Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard (DFO)              to: 1) finish what was started (finalize the
(Government of Canada, 2016), Canada has           designation of proposed MPAs in progress); 2)            “A geographically defined space,
increased its efforts to protect coastal and       protect large offshore areas; 3) protect areas           not recognised as a protected area,
marine areas through spatial measures such         under pressure through coastal MPA network               which is governed and managed
as marine protected areas (MPAs) and Other         planning in three regions; 4) advance OECMs;             over the long-term in ways
Effective Area-based Conservation Measures         and, 5) protect areas faster through legislative         that deliver the effective in-situ
(OECMs). More specifically, the Canadian           reform (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2017a).             conservation of biodiversity, with
Government, through DFO, Parks Canada,             As of June 27, 2018, the majority of progress            associated ecosystem services and
and Environment and Climate Change                 towards this five-point plan has been made               cultural and spiritual values (IUCN
Canada (ECCC), has increased capacity and          by designating MPAs that have been under                 WCPA, 2018).”
resources towards achieving the Convention on      development and creating OECMs through the
Biological Diversity (CBD) Aichi Target 11 (CBD,   Fisheries Act (Fisheries and Oceans Canada,
2018a) and the United Nations’ Sustainable         2018a).
Development Goal 14, Target 5 (United Nations,
2015). These targets call on Parties to the        During the negotiation of the Aichi Biodiversity
Convention on Biological Diversity to protect      Targets in 2010, specifically Aichi Target 11, the
10% of their marine and coastal waters by 2020     term ‘other effective area-based conservation
(Lazaruk and Elliott, 2017). In his mandate        measures’ (OECMs) was agreed among CBD
letter to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and    Parties due to the fact that some areas outside
the Canadian Coast Guard, the Prime Minister       the recognised protected area networks
reaffirmed the target of protecting 10% of the     also contribute to the in-situ conservation of
ocean by 2020 and set a new interim goal of        biodiversity. However, there was no agreement
5% protection by 2017. When the Ministerial        on exactly what was meant by this term. In
Mandate Letter was released, Canada had only       2012 the International Union for Conservation
protected roughly 1% of its three oceans (Jessen   of Nature (IUCN)’s World Commission on
et al 2017).                                       Protected Areas (WCPA), amongst others,
                                                   was invited to provide technical guidance on
                                                   defining OECMs.

                                                                                                        © Nick Hawkins

SeaBlue Canada                                                                                                                                    9
A TECHNICAL REVIEW OF CANADA'S OTHER EFFECTIVE AREA-BASED CONSERVATION MEASURES: ALIGNMENT WITH DFO GUIDANCE, IUCN- WCPA GUIDANCE AND CBD SBSTTA ...
sEABLUE cANADA

In July 2018, the Convention on Biological      part of this process, DFO inventoried ~1000                           meeting of the CBD Conference of Parties in
Diversity’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific,      existing area-based closures enacted under the                        November 2018 (Appendix III).
Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)     Fisheries Act, reviewed these under its criteria,
agreed on an OECM definition to be adopted      and either included them or recommended                               Recent studies have shown that strongly
at the Conference of the Parties (COP) in       improvements. New areas were identified in                            protected or conserved marine areas that are
November, 2018:                                 between 2016-2017 totalling 51 sites considered                       well governed, financed, resourced and actively
                                                suitable to be designated as OECMs and count                          managed are more likely to provide benefits
   “Other effective area-based                  towards Canada’s ocean protection targets.2 As                        to biodiversity than those that are not (Gill et
   conservation measure” means “a               of December 2018, the Canadian Government                             al., 2017). As such, understanding how areas
   geographically defined area other            has declared that it has protected roughly                            not safeguarded by formal protected area
   than a Protected Area, which is              7.9% of Canadian marine and coastal areas                             legislation will be recognized and supported
   governed and managed in ways                 (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2018b). The                             to reduce biodiversity threats is necessary to
   that achieve positive and sustained          majority of these protections are OECMs – the                         ensure that Canada’s use of OECMs to deliver
   long-term outcomes for the in situ           51 identified OECMs comprise 4.48% of the                             on quantity does not compromise or weaken
   conservation of biodiversity,[1] with        7.9% - designated using the Canadian DFO-                             the quality of biodiversity being conserved.
   associated ecosystem functions               developed OECM guidance through new and                               It is our goal to ensure that Canada’s ocean
   and services and, where applicable,          existing Fisheries Act and Species At Risk Act                        protection and conservation choices contribute
   cultural, spiritual, socioeconomic,          closures.                                                             to biodiversity conservation and encourage
   and other locally relevant values.”                                                                                other nations to do the same.
   (See Appendix III excerpt from SBSTTA        In 2017, the CBD Secretariat began to draw
   Report).                                     from the guidance provided by the IUCN-
                                                WCPA, DFO, the Canadian Council on
In short, OECMs are considered to be areas      Ecological Areas (CCEA)3 and others to create
where conservation may not be the primary       guidance that would be ratified by the parties
objective, but conservation outcomes are        to the CBD. In July 2018, the CBD’s Twenty-
achieved.                                       second meeting of the Subsidiary Body
                                                on Scientific, Technical and Technological
In 2015, the WCPA set up a Task Force to        Advice (SBSTTA 22) agreed on guidance to be
develop international guidance on the matter.   submitted to and adopted at the Fourteenth
At the same time, because Canada had set
an interim ocean protection target of 5% by     2 Notably, Canada’s guidance and site inventory for marine OECMs
2017, DFO moved forward in advance of the       only considers areas closed using mechanism such as the Fisheries
                                                Act or Species at Risk Act and does not consider any areas such
international processes to establish its own    as wreck sites, militarized zones, Indigenous conservation areas or
operational guidance on this issue. DFO         cable lines.
                                                3 The CCEA has also developed their own OECM screening criteria.
began with a science advisory process on the    This can be viewed at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/
topic (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2016). As   s10531-015-1018-1.                                                    © Nick Hawkins

   10                                                                                                                                                   SeaBlue Canada
sEABLUE cANADA

To assess Canada’s OECMs, we reviewed the         The five criteria are:                              OECMs has identified multiple criteria for what
areas identified by DFO and compared them                                                             constitutes an OECM (see Appendix II).
against all three sets of criteria: DFO’s OECM        1.   Has a clearly defined geographic
guidance (Fisheries and Oceans Canada,                     location;                                  Succinctly, the criteria are:
2017b), the draft IUCN-WCPA guidance (IUCN-           2.   There are conservation or stock
WCPA, 2018), and the CBD SBSTTA guidance             		    management objectives;                     		1. Ensure that the area is not already
(SBSTTA, 2018). Based on our analysis and             3.   The presence of ecological components        		 recorded as a protected area.
results, we offer recommendations on how             		    of interest;                               		2. Ensure that Aichi Target 11, as opposed
specific OECMs could be improved including            4.   Long-term duration of implementation;        		 to other Aichi Targets, is the right focus.
through permanent protection under the                5.   The ecological components of interest      		3. Ensure that the area has the essential
Fisheries Act, prohibitions on non-fishing           		    are effectively conserved.                   		 conservation characteristics of an
industrial activities, and wherever appropriate                                                         		OECM:
and possible, converting OECMs to MPAs            DFO’s operational guidance does not fully           				        a. Location
under the Oceans Act, the Canada National         align with that of either the CBD SBSTTA or the     				        b. Governed, Managed and
Marine Conservation Areas Act, or the Canada      IUCN-WCPA but does incorporate elements of            			            Long-term
Wildlife Act.                                     both.                                               				        c. Effective In-situ conservation
                                                                                                        			           of biodiversity

02 Review of                                      IUCN-WCPA OECM Guidance                             		4. Ensure the conservation outcome can
                                                                                                        		 be sustained.

OECM Guidance
                                                  At the Twentieth meeting of the CBD SBSTTA
                                                                                                      One notable difference to DFO’s operational
                                                  and the Thirteenth Conference of the Parties
                                                                                                      guidance is that the WCPA Task Force places a
                                                  to the CBD, Parties called on the Secretariat
                                                                                                      greater emphasis on ensuring achievement of
DFO OECM Guidance                                 of the CBD to provide scientific and technical
                                                                                                      long-term in-situ conservation of biodiversity.
                                                  advice on their definition, identification,
DFO developed operational guidance for            management approaches and contribution
marine OECMs based on advice generated            to Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 for OECMs. As
through the Canadian Science Advisory             previously mentioned, the World Commission
Secretariat, while also considering advice from   on Protected Areas (WCPA) Task Force was
the IUCN-WCPA and the Canadian Council on         delegated to provide advice on international
Ecological Areas (CCEA) (for a comprehensive      guidelines and has published multiple drafts
review of DFO guidance see Appendix I). DFO       throughout the process (IUCN WCPA, 2018).
identifies OECMs using five primary criteria,     The guidelines are still in draft form and at the
with a recommendation that each OECM              time of publishing this document were not
meet all five criteria to be considered an OECM   finalized. (IUCN-WCPA, 2018). As of January
(Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2018).              2018, the WCPA Task Force screening tool for
                                                                                                      © Nick Hawkins

SeaBlue Canada                                                                                                                                   11
sEABLUE cANADA

CBD SBSTTA OECM Guidance                             Criterion C: Achieves sustained and                   Criterion D: Associated ecosystem functions
                                                     effective contribution to in situ conservation of     and services and cultural, spiritual, socio-
In addition, and aforementioned to the draft         biodiversity.                                         economic and other locally relevant values.
IUCN-WCPA and DFO guidance for identifying
OECMs, the CBD, through SBSTTA, has                       1.   Effective: Area achieves or is expected         1.   Ecosystem functions and services:
developed their own guidance for OECMs that             		     to achieve in situ conservation of            		     Ecosystem functions and services are
was adopted at the Conference of the Parties            		     biodiversity and is capable of                		     supported, including those of
in November 2018 (SBSTTA, 2018). SBSTTA has             		     adequately reducing, eliminating or           		     importance to indigenous peoples
created a criteria identification chart for OECMs       		     responding to new threats to                  		     and local communities, taking into
which can be found in detail in Appendix III.           		     biodiversity.                                 		     account interactions and trade-offs
SBSTTA has identified four criteria for OECM                                                                 		     among ecosystem functions and
                                                         2.    Sustained over long term: The                 		     services, with a view to ensuring positive
identification with different sub-sections              		     measures are in place for the long term.
within. Briefly, the screening criteria are:                                                                 		     biodiversity outcomes and equity.
                                                         3.    In situ conservation of biological             2.    Cultural, spiritual, socio-economic and
Criterion A: Area is not currently recognized           		     diversity: Recognition of OECMs is            		     other locally relevant values:
as a protected area.                                    		     expected to include the identification of     		     Governance and management
                                                        		     the range of biodiversity attributes for      		     measures identify, respect, and uphold
		 1.	Not a protected area: the area is not             		     which a site is considered important.         		     cultural, spiritual, socio-economic, and
  		 currently recognized or reported as a
                                                                                                             		     other locally relevant values, with the
  		 protected area.                                     4.    Information and monitoring: The
                                                                                                             		     end goal of providing in situ
                                                        		     OECM has effective monitoring
Criterion B: Area is governed and managed.                                                                   		     conservation of biodiversity.
                                                        		     systems, the documentation of the
                                                        		     known biodiversity attributes as well as
    1.   Geographically defined space: Size             		     cultural and/or spiritual values and
  		     and area are described and boundaries          		     processes to evaluate the effectiveness
  		     are geographically delineated.                 		     of governance and management,
                                                        		     including equity.
   2.    Legitimate governing authorities:
  		     Governance has legitimate authority
  		     and is appropriate for achieving in situ
  		     conservation of biodiversity and reflects
  		     the equity considerations adopted in
  		     the Convention on Biological Diversity.

                                                     © Nick Hawkins

   12                                                                                                                                          SeaBlue Canada
sEABLUE cANADA

In comparison to IUCN-WCPA and DFO
guidance, CBD SBSTTA guidance places a
much stronger emphasis on incorporating
                                                  03 Assessment Methodology
social aspects into the management and
governance of OECMs. For example, CBD             We evaluated all sites Canada is currently
SBSTTA guidance indicates that it is the          counting as OECMs against DFO guidance,
responsibility of the governing authority to      IUCN-WCPA guidance and CBD SBSTTA
take into account interactions and trade-offs     guidance to determine whether they would
among ecosystem functions and services,           qualify as OECMs under one, two, or all
with a view towards ensuring not only positive    three sources of guidance. The following
biodiversity outcomes but additionally positive   methodology was used:
equity outcomes. Furthermore, emphasis is
placed on cultural, spiritual, socio-economic     I. Categorization:
and other locally relevant values in comparison
to the other guidance, in particular through      To simplify the evaluation, we first divided
Indigenous groups and local communities.          Canada’s 51 OECMs into three broad
Several CBD SBSTTA criteria highlight the         categories4: sensitive benthic area (SBA)
importance of OECM governance and                 OECMs, multi-species OECMs and single-
management by Indigenous peoples and              species OECMs (Table 4). SBA OECMs have
local communities through respecting and          conservation objectives that focus specifically
upholding Indigenous and local traditions,        on protecting sensitive benthic habitats such
values, and knowledge. This heavy focus on        as areas of high concentrations of corals and
Indigenous and local community consultations      sponges. Multi-species OECMs are a range
stems from the establishment of OECMs at          of OECMs with conservation objectives that
the CBD as a way to include Indigenous and        attempt to protect multiple species and in
locally protected/conserved areas as areas that   some cases habitats. Lastly, single-species
can contribute to Sustainable Development         OECMs focus on the protection of one species
Goal 14. Lastly, CBD SBSTTA guidance includes     or restrict only one type of fishing gear
greater detail on information and monitoring      targeting a single species and are thus a single
of OECMs to ensure effective management           species management measure as their primary
and that general data of an OECM or area,         conservation objective.
such as boundaries, aim and governance, are
publicly available information (SBSTTA, 2018).

                                                  4 Some OECMs include more than one area, but separately these
                                                  areas amount to 51                                              © Nick Hawkins

SeaBlue Canada                                                                                                                     13
sEABLUE cANADA

II. Establishing Evaluation                          The ten criteria include:                                               III. Comparisons of the
Criteria:                                                 1. Whether area was previously                                     Guidance:
                                                             recognized as a protected area,
Ten criteria were selected to determine the               2. If area is a geographically defined                             The DFO and CBD SBSTTA guidance
effectiveness of an OECM across all three                    space,                                                          documents do not align completely with
guidance types. Due to discrepancies between              3. If area is of adequate size for the in-situ                     the IUCN-WCPA’s guidance. For example,
the individual criteria of each set of guidance,             conservation of biodiversity,                                   DFO guidance only applies to the marine
we divided some of the DFO and the CBD                    4. If area is governed by a specific                               environment while IUCN-WCPA and CBD
SBSTTA criteria into different categories to                 authority,                                                      SBSTTA guidance are designed to apply to
better align with IUCN-WCPA guidance,                     5. If governance and creation of the area is                       both terrestrial and marine environments
thus ensuring consistent and effective                       equitable5,                                                     as well as to a range of human activities
evaluation across all criteria. We then created           6. If area is managed in a manner that                             (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2017b; IUCN
a comparison matrix to provide a basis for                   will allow for effective biodiversity                           WCPA, 2018; SBSTTA, 2018). The different
the site by site analysis across all three sets of           conservation,                                                   guidance documents do not fully align with
criteria (Appendix IV).                                   7. Cases where in-situ biodiversity is not                         respect to the three following criteria6: (6)
                                                             the primary objective for the area but is                       ‘managed’, (7) ‘secondary or ancillary’ and
                                                             secondary or ancillary,                                         (10) ‘effective and enduring.’ The CBD SBSTTA
                                                          8. If area allows for the effective means of                       criterion for (6) ‘managed’ places a strong
                                                             control of activities that could impact                         value on management that will lead to in
                                                             biodiversity,                                                   situ biodiversity conservation through the
                                                          9. If area is intended for the long term;                          ecosystem approach, management abilities
                                                             and,                                                            to adequately address new threats and the
                                                         10. If area demonstrates to be effective                            involvement of relevant stakeholders, while
                                                             and enduring at providing in-situ                               IUCN-WCPA and DFO guidance provides less
                                                             biodiversity conservation.                                      detail on how management can or will result
                                                                                                                             in the in-situ conservation of biodiversity. All
                                                                                                                             three guidance documents differ on the (7)
                                                                                                                             ‘secondary or ancillary’ criterion. DFO identifies
                                                                                                                             that a closure must include two ecological
                                                                                                                             components of interest (species and habitat),
                                                                                                                             IUCN-WCPA highlights that an OECM does not
                                                     5 Canada has a constitutional duty to consult with First Nations        necessarily require a predominant conservation
                                                     and Section 35 of the Constitution upholds their rights, Canada is
                                                     also a signatory to UNDRIP. However, in some cases it is not clear as   6 Note there are minor differences between other various criteria;
                                                     to whether or not there was consent provided for spatial protection,    however, they are not as significant as the three mentioned
                                    © Nick Hawkins   particularly for areas protected prior to 2015.                         above.

   14                                                                                                                                                                        SeaBlue Canada
sEABLUE cANADA

objective, but there must be a direct causal link     Significant Area (EBSA) and identified biological features of the OECM that may not have been
between the area’s overall objective and the          included in the DFO description. We also identified threats of potentially harmful activities not
in situ conservation of biodiversity, and CBD         currently occurring in the OECM but that may occur in the future and that are not managed by
SBSTTA guidance describes that an OECM                DFO and therefore cannot be averted by an OECM.
is expected to include the identification of a
range of biodiversity attributes for which the        V.       Analysis and Scoring:
site is considered important (e.g. threatened
or endangered species, key biodiversity areas,        We then evaluated each OECM individually using the ten identified criteria, across the three
areas for ecological connectivity, etc.). Lastly,     sets of guidance (Appendix V). We developed a colour-coded scoring scheme to demonstrate
the (10) ‘effective and enduring’ criterion differs   whether, and to what extent, a criterion was fulfilled. We provide a more detailed description for
between the three guidance. Unlike IUCN-              each specific site so that our assessment could be repeated by others (Appendix V for the results
WCPA and DFO, CBD SBSTTA assesses a much              for each OECM). Using the matrices created for each OECM site, we developed a scoring system
larger variety of components to determine             out of 100 to determine how sites meet each of the three guidance documents.
if an OECM will be ‘effective and enduring’
and achieve in situ biodiversity conservation,        As all three guidance have a differing number of criteria, to determine if a site met the specific
usually resulting in a lower score than the           guidance, we calculated the highest score possible for each site (DFO Guidance = 24 points,
other guidance for this criterion. Some of these      IUCN-WCPA Guidance = 30 points, CBD SBSTTA Guidance = 30 points) and converted that to a
components include: size, effective monitoring,       score out of 100 (Table 3).
evaluation of governance and management,
documentation of known biodiversity                              TABLE 3. Scoring ranges for OECMs against DFO, IUCN-WCPA and CBD SBSTTA
attributes, and equity concerns. IUCN-WCPA                       Guidance
and DFO guidance are similar as they both call
for the in situ conservation of biodiversity but      Score Range                   Description
do not include as much detail as to how this               3    90-100     Yes      OECM meets the guidance
will be achieved, typically resulting in a higher
score.                                                     2     80-90    Likely    OECM likely meets the guidance but minor improvements needed
                                                                                    OECM unlikely to meet guidance, significant improvements are
                                                           1     65-80   Unlikely
IV.    Information Gathering:                                                       needed to protect biodiversity
                                                           0
sEABLUE cANADA

04 Results & key Observations
04.1 Assessment of Individual OECMs Against Guidance
Of the 277,712 km2 protected under the Fisheries Act as OECMs, 233,498 km2 or 84% by area are categorized as Sensitive Benthic Areas, 36,407 km2
or 13% by area are categorized as multi-species OECMs and 7,806 km2 or 3% by area are categorized as single species OECMs (Table 4). Of the 51
areas, 30 are SBAs, 11 are multi-species closures and 13 are considered single species closures, with single species OECMs typically smaller than the
other closures.

          TABLE 4. OECMs by Category (Sensitive Benthic Areas, Multi-Species and Single Species) and total area of individual and grouped sites

OECMs by Category                                                     Total Area (km2)    OECMs by Category                                         Total Area (km2)
                             Sensitive Benthic Area OECMs                                                                     Multi-Species OECMs
Corsair & Georges Canyon Conservation Area                                       9,075    Western Emerald Banks Conservation Area                             12,786
Jordan Basin Conservation Area                                                      49    Les Desmoiselles Nursery Closure                                       0.3
Lophelia Coral Conservation Area                                                    15    Magdalen Islands 6 Lagoon Closures                                     136
Emerald Basin and Sambro Bank Sponge Conservation Area (2 closures)                259    Hawke Channel Closure                                               8,800
Northeast Channel Coral Conservation Area                                         424     Funk Island Deep Closure                                             7,200

Quebec Coral and Sponge Closures/Conservation Areas (11 closures)                8,572    Disko Fan Conservation Area                                          7,485

Pacific Offshore Seamounts and Vents Conservation Area                          82,689    Total Multispecies OECMS                                           36,407
Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound Sponge Reef Closures (7 closures)                  29    Percent of Total                                                        13
Davis Strait Conservation Area                                                  17,286                                           Single Species
Hatton Basin Conservation Area                                                  42,459    7 Lobster Closures                                                     94
Hopedale Saddle Closure                                                          15,412   Bay of Islands Salmon Migration                                        218
3O Coral Closure                                                                10,396    Miramichi Bay Closure                                                1,553
Northeast Newfoundland Slope Closure                                            46,833    Scallop Buffer Zones (3 Closures)                                    5,833
Total SBA OECMS                                                               233,498     Saguenay Fjord Upstream                                                109
Percent of Total                                                                    84    Total Single Species OECMS                                          7,807
                                                                                          Percent of Total                                                           3
                                                                                          Total Area Protected as OECMs                                      277,712

   16                                                                                                                                               SeaBlue Canada
sEABLUE cANADA

In our scoring of whether a particular site           TABLE 5. Scores out of 100 for individual OECMs by DFO, IUCN-WCPA and CBD
met the criteria to be counted as an OECM             SBSTTA Guidance
for each set of guidance, we found that
no site resulted in a score of less than 60                                                                         Total
                                                                                                                                  DFO          IUCN-WCPA       CBD SBSTTA
                                                   OECM                                                             Area
points out of 100 (Table 5). Since many of the                                                                      (km2)
                                                                                                                                Guidance         Guidance       Guidance
criteria, such as the area not being previously
                                                                                                Sensitive Benthic Area OECMs
recognized as a protected area, the area
                                                   Corsair & Georges Canyon Conservation Area                       9,075       Likely - 88     Likely - 87     Likely - 80
being a geographically defined space, the
area being governed by a specific authority,       Jordan Basin Conservation Area                                     49       Unlikely - 79   Unlikely - 73   Unlikely - 70
and the governance and creation of the area        Lophelia Coral Conservation Area                                   15        Likely - 83    Unlikely - 73   Unlikely- 70
is equitable, are all criteria that are easily     Emerald Basin and Sambro Bank Sponge Conservation Area (2)        259        Likely - 83    Unlikely - 73   Unlikely - 70
fulfilled, most OECMs received points in
                                                   Northeast Channel Coral Conservation Area                         424       Unlikely - 79   Unlikely - 73   Unlikely - 70
these categories. That said, it is an important
reminder that sites scoring below 65 points        Quebec Coral and Sponge Closures/Conservation Areas (11)         8,572      Unlikely - 75   Unlikely - 73   Unlikely - 67
did not meet the criteria to be counted as an      Pacific Offshore Seamounts and Vents Conservation Area           82,689      Likely - 88     Likely - 80     Likely - 80
OECM, in our view.                                 Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound Sponge Reef Closures (9)          29        Likely - 83    Unlikely - 77   Unlikely - 73

                                                   Davis Strait Conservation Area                                   17,286       Yes - 96        Yes - 93       Likely - 83
We found that the majority by of OECMs
by area scored more than 80 points in the          Hatton Basin Conservation Area                                   42,459      Likely - 88     Likely - 80    Unlikely - 73

assessment and are either fully or are likely to   Hopedale Saddle Closure                                          15,412      Likely - 88    Unlikely - 77   Unlikely - 73
satisfy DFO guidance (196,146 km2 or 72%) and      3O Coral Closure                                                 10,396     Unlikely - 75   Unlikely - 73   Unlikely - 70
IUCN Guidance (164,295 km2 or 60%) where
                                                   Northeast Newfoundland Slope Closure                             46,833     Unlikely - 67   Unlikely - 70      No- 63
as a smaller area (109,050 km2 or 40%) scored
80 points or more under the CBD SBSTTA
guidance (Table 5, Table 6). This difference
is largely because of strengthened criteria
for management effectiveness, equity and
monitoring requirements and these results
are largely driven by the Pacific Offshore
Seamounts and Vents Conservation Area.

SeaBlue Canada                                                                                                                                                                 17
sEABLUE cANADA

           TABLE 5 (continued). Scores out of 100 for individual OECMs
           by DFO, IUCN-WCPA and CBD SBSTTA Guidance

                                             Total
                                                           DFO             IUCN-WCPA       CBD SBSTTA
OECM                                         Area
                                                           Guidance        Guidance        Guidance         TABLE 6. Analysis by area assessed as meeting
                                             (km2)
                                                                                                            DFO, IUCN-WCPA and CBD SBSTTA guidance for
                                     Multi-Species OECMs                                                    OECMs
Western Emerald Banks Conservation Area       12,786         Yes - 96       Likely - 80    Unlikely - 73

Les Desmoiselles Nursery Closure                0.3        Unlikely - 71     No - 63         No - 63        Fisheries and Oceans Canada OECM Guidance

Magdalen Islands 6 Lagoon Closures              136         Likely - 83    Unlikely - 70   Unlikely- 67                                 Yes     Likely   Unlikely    No
                                                                                                                                       (km2)    (km2)     (km2)     (km2)
Hawke Channel Closure                         8,800         Likely - 88    Unlikely - 77   Unlikely - 73
                                                                                                            Sensitive Benthic Areas   17,286   149,938   66,274       0
Funk Island Deep Closure                      7,200         Likely - 88    Unlikely - 77   Unlikely - 73
                                                                                                            Multi-Species             12,786    16,136     0.3        0
                                          Single Species
                                                                                                            Single Species               0        0       7,807       0
7 Lobster Closures                              94         Unlikely - 79   Unlikely - 67     No - 63
                                                                                                            Total                     30,072   166,074   74,081       0
Bay of Islands Salmon Migration                 218        Unlikely - 75     No - 60         No - 63
                                                                                                            %                           11.1     61.5      27.4       0
Miramichi Bay Closure                          1,553       Unlikely - 75     No - 63         No - 63
                                                                                                            IUCN Guidance
Scallop Buffer Zones (3 Closures)              5,833       Unlikely - 75     No - 60         No - 63
                                                                                                                                        Yes     Likely   Unlikely    No
Saguenay Fjord Upstream                        109         Unlikely - 75   Unlikely - 67     No - 63                                   (km2)    (km2)     (km2)     (km2)

                                                                                                            Sensitive Benthic Areas   17,286   134,223   81,989       0

                                                                                                            Multi-Species               0       12,786    16,136      0

                                                                                                            Single Species              0         0        203      7,604
Across all OECMs, only 30,072 km2, or 11% by area, fully met DFO guidance, based on our
assessment of how these areas fulfilled the criteria. An additional 166,074 km2, or 62% by                  Total                     17,286   147,009   98,328     7,604
area, are likely to meet the criteria, but 74,081 km2, or 27% by area, are unlikely to meet the             %                           6.4      54.5     36.4       2.8
criteria. OECMs analyzed using IUCN-WCPA guidance showed similar patterns, with 17,286                      Draft CBD OECM Guidance
km2, or 6% by area, fully meeting the IUCN-WCPA criteria, and 147,009 km2, or 55% by area,
                                                                                                                                        Yes     Likely   Unlikely    No
likely to meet criteria. An additional 98,328 km2, or 36% by area, are unlikely to meet IUCN-                                          (km2)    (km2)     (km2)     (km2)
WCPA guidance, while the remaining 7,604 km2, or 3% by area, does not meet the criteria.
                                                                                                            Sensitive Benthic Areas     0      109,050    77,615    46,833
No OECMs fully met the CBD criteria, while 109,050 km2, or 40% by area, were likely to meet
the criteria, 106,537 km2, or 40% by area, were unlikely to meet the criteria and 54,640 km2,               Multi-Species               0                28,922      0.3

or 20% by area, did not meet the criteria (Table 6).                                                        Single Species              0         0         0       7,807

                                                                                                            Total                       0      109,050   106,537    54,640

                                                                                                            %                           0       40.4       39.5      19.7

   18                                                                                                                                                    SeaBlue Canada
sEABLUE cANADA

                                              FIGURE 3. Spectrum of OECMs satisfying DFO Guidance

Placing individual OECMs on a spectrum of
likeliness of meeting each set of guidance,
quick assessments can be made as to
the improvements required to improve
conservation outcomes (Figures 3-5).

          FIGURE 4. Spectrum of OECMs
          satisfying IUCN-WCPA Guidance

SeaBlue Canada                                                                                      19
sEABLUE cANADA

        FIGURE 5. Spectrum of OECMs satisfying CBD SBSTTA Guidance                                 Offshore Vents-Seamounts Conservation Area
                                                                                                   are likely to satisfy the guidance. Others require
                                                                                                   additional management measures, particularly
                                                                                                   to protect them from oil and gas activity, to
                                                                                                   fully meet the all three sets of guidance. While
                                                                                                   SBA OECMs are closer to meeting the various
                                                                                                   criteria, there are specific elements that require
                                                                                                   improvements:

                                                                                                       1. Size: If an SBA OECM is to meet the
                                                                                                          ‘size’ criterion then, at a minimum,
                                                                                                          it should follow the SBA science
                                                                                                          guidelines developed by DFO
                                                                                                          Newfoundland and Labrador Region
                                                                                                          that states that 70% of coral or sponge
                                                                                                          areas need to be protected for effective
                                                                                                          long-term biodiversity conservation
                                                                                                          (CSAS, 2017). If it was observed that
                                                                                                          70% of the coral and sponges were not
                                                                                                          protected, then the OECM likely did
                                                                                                          not meet the ‘size’ criteria. We do note
04.2 Assessment of OECMs by                      Sensitive Benthic Area OECMs                             that ideally, 100% of the SBA should
Category                                         Generally, SBA OECMs are closer than the
                                                                                                          be protected; however, we used the
                                                                                                          published Canadian science advice as a
                                                 other two types of OECMs to satisfying the
To better understand what specific                                                                        minimum standard.
                                                 three sets of guidance to be counted as an
improvements need to be made to ensure that                                                            2. Effective means: Apart from the
                                                 OECM. The Davis Strait Conservation Area
the OECMs in the three categories we have                                                                 eastern Arctic closures, none of the SBA
                                                 is the only OECM that completely satisfies
determined (SBA, multi-species and single                                                                 OECMs fully met the IUCN-WCPA or
                                                 DFO and IUCN-WCPA guidance (Table 5).
species) either completely or more fully meet                                                             CBD SBSTTA ‘effective means’ criteria
                                                 Others, such as Corsair and Georges Canyon
the three sets of guidance, we explored which                                                             as DFO cannot unilaterally control all
                                                 Conservation Area and the Hatton Basin
of the ten criteria were or were not satisfied                                                            activities within SBA closures under
                                                 Conservation Area are likely to satisfy DFO and
(Table 7).                                                                                                the Fisheries Act, unless all activities
                                                 IUCN-WCPA guidance. No SBA OECM fully
                                                                                                          cause harm to fish habitat and in that
                                                 satisfies CBD SBSTTA guidance; however, the
                                                                                                          case all activities could be prohibited.
                                                 Davis Strait Conservation Area, Corsair and
                                                                                                          However, from a jurisdictional
                                                 Georges Canyon Conservation Area and Pacific

   20                                                                                                                                 SeaBlue Canada
sEABLUE cANADA

          perspective, the Canada-Nova Scotia                                    TABLE 7. Overview summaries for OECM categories against the criteria
          and Canada-Newfoundland and
          Labrador Offshore Petroleum Boards                              Criterion                SBA OECMs                         Multi-species OECMs                       Single Species OECMs
          have the regulatory authority to permit                  Not recognized      Criterion is met across all sets of   Criterion is met across all sets of       Criterion is met across all sets of
          oil and gas development/exploitation                     as a protected      guidance.                             guidance.                                 guidance.
                                                                   area
          on the Atlantic Coast but have no legal
          obligation to respect areas protected                    Geographically      Criterion is met across all sets of   Criterion is met across all sets of       Criterion is met across all sets of
                                                                   defined space       guidance.                             guidance.                                 guidance.
          under the Fisheries Act. The inability of
          the Canadian government to manage                        Size                Criterion is not met across all       Criterion is nearly met across all        Criterion is not met across all sets of
                                                                                       sets of guidance. Not all closures    sets of guidance. However, not all        guidance. Not all closures appear to
          the Petroleum Boards with regards to                                         appear to be sufficient in size       closures appear to be sufficient in       be sufficient in size to achieve the
          OECMs7 indicates a failure to effectively                                    to achieve the long term in-situ      size to achieve the long term in-situ     long term in-situ conservation of
                                                                                       conservation of biodiversity. The     conservation of biodiversity. Where       biodiversity. The closures could more
          integrate management inside and                                              closures could be doing more to       Significant Benthic Areas are part        strictly follow current EBSA boundaries
          outside of OECMs. Additionally, while                                        ensure that DFO Newfoundland          of the OECM objective, ensure that        or use the ecological components
                                                                                       and Labrador Region SBA science       DFO Newfoundland and Labrador             of the EBSAs as the conservation
          DFO has the authority to manage                                              which advises protection of 70% of    Region SBA science which advises          objective(s) for an OECM.
          fishing activities, to date there is no                                      the SBA concentration is adhered      protection of 70% of the SBA
          formal restriction on annual bottom                                          to.                                   concentration is adhered to.

          trawl research surveys within these                      Governed            Criterion is met across all sets of   Criterion is met across all sets of       Criterion is met across all sets of
          areas, although avoidance of these                                           guidance.                             guidance.                                 guidance.

          areas by trawl surveys is done by some                   Equitable           Criterion is mostly met across        Criterion is mostly met across all sets   Criterion is mostly met across all sets of
          DFO regions. Finally, no areas protected                                     all sets of guidance, in certain      of guidance, in certain circumstances     guidance, in certain circumstances the
                                                                                       circumstances the level of            the level of consultation with            level of consultation with indigenous
          under the Sensitive Benthic Areas                                            consultation with indigenous          indigenous peoples and local              peoples and local communities is
          policy allow bottom fishing, but not all                                     peoples and local communities is      communities is unknown.                   unknown.
          fishing is prohibited and as such there                                      unknown.

          is no guarantee of protection of in-situ                 Managed             Criterion is met across all sets of   Criterion is met across all sets of       DFO criterion is met but not IUCN-
          biodiversity. It should be noted however,                                    guidance except for CBD SBSTTA        guidance except for CBD SBSTTA            WCPA or CBD SBSTTA criteria. Rather,
                                                                                       guidance as the management of         guidance as the management is             IUCN-WCPA and CBD SBSTTA criteria
          that most Oceans Act MPAs allow                                              OECMs is unable to unilaterally       unable to unilaterally and adequately     are either likely or potentially met but
          fishing within their boundaries, which                                       and adequately address new and        address new and arising threats           additional work could be completed
          in some cases includes bottom fishing                                        arising threats (e.g. oil and gas     and management is not always              to lead to more positive biodiversity
                                                                                       development)                          consistent with the ecosystem             benefits. The focus on single species
          with traps and longlines. In such cases,                                                                           approach.                                 for these closures limits the ability for
          SBA OECM closures may actually be                                                                                                                            the ecosystem approach to be applied.
          providing more protection for benthic                    Secondary/          Criterion is met across all sets of   Criterion is met across all sets of       Criterion is met across all sets of
          biodiversity than MPAs.                                  Ancillary           guidance.                             guidance except for Les Desmoiselles      guidance except for CBD SBSTTA
                                                                                                                             Nursery Closure and the Magdalen          guidance as there is little recognition
                                                                                                                             Islands 6 Lagoon Closures under           of the identification of the range of
                                                                                                                             CBD SBSTTA Guidance due to little         biodiversity attributes for why a site is
                                                                                                                             recognition of the identification of      important due to focusing on a single
7 As indicated by the recent open Call for Bids in the Northeast                                                             the range of biodiversity attributes      species or habitat.
Newfoundland Slope Closure (CNLOPB, 2018).                                                                                   regarding why a site is important.

SeaBlue Canada                                                                                                                                                                                               21
sEABLUE cANADA

            TABLE 7. Overview summaries for OECM categories against the criteria                                                                    3. Effective and enduring: For the
                                                                                                                                                       ‘effective and enduring’ criterion, 13 out
    Criterion                 SBA OECMs                          Multi-species OECMs                       Single Species OECMs                        of 238 of the SBA OECMs do not satisfy
Effective Means   Criterion is rarely met across all      Criterion is rarely met across all      Criterion is rarely met across all sets of           any of the three guidance documents
                  sets of guidance. Either DFO does       sets of guidance. Either DFO does       guidance. Either DFO does not have                   as they do not demonstrate that they
                  not have control over all activities    not have control over all activities    control over all activities that could
                  that could have a negative impact       that could have a negative impact       have a negative impact on the in-situ
                                                                                                                                                       will allow for effective and enduring
                  on the in-situ conservation of          on the in-situ conservation of          conservation of biodiversity or certain              in-situ biodiversity conservation. This is
                  biodiversity or certain activities      biodiversity or certain activities      activities that are not prohibited                   either because of the size of the OECM,
                  that are not prohibited within          that are not prohibited within          within the closures can still occur
                  the closures can still occur and        the closures can still occur and        and have a negative impact on the                    level of benthic protection, failure to
                  have a negative impact on the           impact the biodiversity of the area.    in-situ conservation of biodiversity.                manage activities that are currently
                  in-situ conservation of biodiversity.   Additionally, an ecosystem-based        Additionally, an ecosystem-based
                  Additionally, noted are the             approach should be pursued, and         approach should be pursued, and                      occurring or may potentially take
                  negative impacts of annual trawl        management is not integrated            management is not integrated inside                  place within the OECM, uncertainty
                  surveys conducted by DFO and            inside and outside the OECM.            and outside the OECM.
                  management is not integrated
                                                                                                                                                       surrounding ecological monitoring
                  inside and outside the OECM.                                                                                                         and surveillance, and/or the fact that
Long Term         Criterion is met through DFO            Criterion is met through DFO            Criterion is met through DFO                         the closures can be currently reversed
                  guidance and is likely met for          guidance and is likely met for IUCN-    guidance and is likely met for IUCN-                 through Ministerial discretion under
                  IUCN-WCPA and CBD SBSTTA                WCPA and CBD SBSTTA guidance            WCPA and CBD SBSTTA guidance due
                  guidance due to the proposed            due to the proposed amendments to       to the proposed amendments to the
                                                                                                                                                       the Fisheries Act. Many sites lack
                  amendments to the Fisheries Act.        the Fisheries Act                       Fisheries Act                                        the permanence required by the
Effective and     Uncertainty if DFO guidance             Uncertainty if DFO guidance             Uncertainty if DFO guidance
                                                                                                                                                       IUCN-WCPA guidance. If the recently
Enduring          is met surrounding ecological           is met surrounding ecological           is met surrounding ecological                        proposed amendments to Canada’s
                  monitoring and surveillance.            monitoring and surveillance.            monitoring and surveillance. IUCN-
                  IUCN-WCPA criterion is not              IUCN-WCPA guidance is not               WCPA guidance is not satisfied as
                                                                                                                                                       Fisheries Act under Bill C-68 (Section
                  satisfied as it is uncertain if all     satisfied as it is uncertain if all     it is uncertain if all the closures will             43.3[1] – 43.3[2]) are implemented, the
                  the closures will provide effective     the closures will provide effective     provide effective in-situ conservation               ‘long-term’ criteria for IUCN-WCPA
                  in-situ conservation of biodiversity,   in-situ conservation of biodiversity,   of biodiversity, resulting from a
                  resulting from a combination of         resulting from a combination of         combination of multiple factors such                 guidance will likely be satisfied as
                  multiple factors such as size of the    multiple factors such as size of the    as size of the closure, prohibitions and             the Minister will be able to designate
                  closure, prohibitions and length of     closure, prohibitions and length of     length of the closure. CBD SBSTTA
                  the closure. CBD SBSTTA criterion       the closure. CBD SBSTTA guidance is     guidance is never satisfied because
                                                                                                                                                       closures over the long-term and can
                  is rarely satisfied due to Accord       never satisfied (except for the Disko   it is unlikely the site will provide in              supersede inconsistencies between
                  Agreements and the failure of           Fan Conservation Area) because          situ biodiversity conservation due to
                  OECMs to follow NLFD SBA science        the OECMs may not provide in situ       their size, failure to document known
                                                                                                                                                       regulations made by the Governor in
                  guidelines (70%).                       biodiversity conservation due to        biodiversity attributes within the                   Council9 (Parliament of Canada, 2018).
                                                          threats from oil and gas, size of the   OECM and/or the governance abilities
                                                          closures, and/or the governance         to adequately address threats to
                                                          abilities to adequately address         biodiversity within the OECM.
                                                          threats to biodiversity within the
                                                          OECM.
                                                                                                                                               8 This includes the eleven Quebec Coral and Sponge Closures.
                                                                                                                                               9 Gives the Minister the power to preclude any regional director
                                                                                                                                               general about undoing a closure and gives ministerial powers to
                                                                                                                                               declare permanency.

   22                                                                                                                                                                                          SeaBlue Canada
You can also read
Next slide ... Cancel