5C AIRES MARINES NATIONALES DE CONSERVATION


1.  National Marine Conser

1.1  The Saguenay - St. Lawrence Marine Park

The Saguenay - St. Lawrence Marine Park exists by virtue of two acts, one from the Government of Canada and the other from the Government of Quebec (Saguenay - St. Lawrence Marine Park Act,  S.C. 1997, c. 37 and Loi sur le parc marin du Saguenay - Saint-Laurent,   R.S.Q, c. P-8.1). The Marine Park includes the Saguenay Fjord, downstream from Cap à l'Est, and the northern portion of the St. Lawrence Estuary between Gros Cap à l'Aigle upstream to Les Escoumins downstream (Figure 1). The Marine Park covers approximately 1,245 km2, includes the water column and seabed, and extends to the normal high-tide line. It protects representative portions of St. Lawrence Estuary and Saguenay Fjord ecosystems.

The Marine Park and surrounding waters are well known for the resident St. Lawrence beluga whale population and the wide diversity of marine mammals that migrate here, mainly to feed, between the months of April and November. Whales involved in feeding behaviour may suddenly surface unexpectedly. Heightened awareness on the part mariners is necessary in order to prevent collisions with whales.

Oceanographic conditions in the area produce very strong currents and periodical fog in summer. The presence of numerous ports and marinas, as well as an important whale-watching industry, generates intense navigational activity, particularly between Tadoussac and Les Escoumins.

The Saguenay - St. Lawrence Marine Park

Marine Mammal Protection

A. Marine Activities in the Saguenay - St. Lawrence Marine Park Regulations

Marine Activities in the Saguenay - St. Lawrence Marine Park Regulations (SOR/2002-76) regulate activities at sea, notably whale watching. The regulations indicate the maximum navigation speed permitted throughout the park, as well as the distances and speeds to be respected when whales are present. These distances vary depending on the risk status of a given species.

A permit is required in order to operate a marine tour business, to carry out scientific activities and for film productions. For more information on the Regulations, consult http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2002-76/index.html.

The main prescribed behaviours include:

1. General prohibitions

No person shall engage in behaviour that may disturb, kill or injure a marine mammal. Any collision with a marine mammal must immediately be reported to a park warden by dialling 1-866-508-9888.

2. Distance requirements

A minimum distance of 400 meters from all endangered (blue whale) or threatened (beluga whale) marine mammals must be respected.

No person shall approach within 200 meters of any other whale species. Under certain conditions, tour operator permit holders may approach to 100 meters.

3. Speed limits

The maximum navigational speed within the Marine Park is 25 knots.

The speed limit in an observation zone (a one nautical mile radius around a vessel that is observing whales) is 10 knots.

When a vessel is between 400 meters and 200 meters of a whale (or between 400 and 100 meters in the case of tour operator permit holders under certain conditions):

  • The captain must not accelerate to a speed greater than the minimum speed required to manoeuvre the vessel.
  •  The captain must not repetitively stop or start the vessel or change its direction.
  • If a vessel unexpectedly encounters a threatened or endangered whale species (ex. beluga whale and blue whale) at a distance of less than 400 meters, the captain must reduce the speed of the vessel to a speed not greater than the minimum speed required to manoeuvre the vessel and move away to a distance greater than 400 meters.

B. Zoning

The zoning of the Marine Park is designed to protect specific habitats and the species that live within them while promoting ecologically sustainable use of the Marine Park and quality visitor experiences.Comprehensive preservation zones were created to protect especially sensitive habitat (Figure 2). These zones cover 3% of the Marine Park's surface area and include sectors that are particularly important to marine mammals and seabirds caring for their young and for resting. All mariners are requested to avoid these zones.

Comprehensive preservation zones

C. Marine Mammal Emergency

To report a marine mammal that is either in trouble or dead, call 1-877-722-5346.

Information

For questions concerning the Saguenay - St. Lawrence Marine Park, contact Parks Canada at 418-235-4703 or info.parcmarin@pc.gc.ca, or visit www.marinepark.qc.ca.

For general information regarding Parks Canada's National Marine Conservation Areas, National Parks or National Historic Sites, please contact our National Information Service at 1-888-773-8888 orinformation@pc.gc.ca, or visit Parks Canada website: www.parkscanada.gc.ca.

2.  National Marine Conservation Areas in the Great Lakes

2.1  Fathom Five National Marine Park

Fathom Five National Marine Park is a 114 km2 protected area located on Lake Huron near Tobermory, Ontario. Many of the islands within the park are protected under the Canada National Parks Act (S.C. 2000, c. 32). The waters are managed in the "spirit" of the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act (S.C. 2002, c. 18) using a variety of provincial and federal legislation. 

Fathom Five was first established in 1972 as a provincial park and later in 1987 became the first site to be under the stewardship of Parks Canada's national marine conservation area program. The park is renowned for its shipwrecks and diving opportunities.

Coordinates

Fathom Five National Marine Park

Restrictions

Restricted boating areas within Fathom Five National Marine Park are described in the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations (SOR/2008-120; Schedule 1, Part 2, items 4 to 17) and are indicated on the map above.

Moorings are maintained within many of the restricted boating areas to facilitate diving and protect the shipwrecks. Coordinates are listed in the table below.

Shipwreck Name Easting Northing Latitude Longitude
Arabia 447220 5017855 45° 18' 43.975" N 81° 40' 24.002" W
447220 5017775 45° 18' 41.383" N 81° 40' 23.972" W
Boat Harbour 442860 5018575 45° 19' 06.075" N 81° 43' 44.525" W
Dunk's Point 450337 5012792 45° 16' 00.736" N 81° 37' 59.032" W
Forest City 456178 5018358 45° 19' 02.493" N 81° 33' 32.774" W
John Walters 444840 5012060 45° 15' 35.541" N 81° 42' 10.979" W
James C. King 444389 5012931 45° 16' 03.636" N 81° 42' 32.022" W
444323 5012906 45° 16' 02.808" N 81° 42' 35.041" W
Minch 444281 5015922 45° 17' 40.523" N 81° 42' 38.187" W
444543 5015795 45° 17' 36.482" N 81° 42' 26.108" W
Newaygo 441074 5013316 45° 16' 15.139" N 81° 45' 04.301" W
441058 5013253 45° 16' 13.093" N 81° 45' 05.009" W
440978 5013114 45° 16' 08.565" N 81° 45' 08.620" W
Points West 442737 5014998 45° 17' 10.135" N 81° 43' 48.686" W
Philo Scoville 445300 5013057 45° 16' 07.977" N 81° 41' 50.269" W
Sweepstakes 446607 5011556 45° 15' 19.701" N 81° 40' 49.712" W
446617 5011536 45° 15' 19.056" N 81° 40' 49.245" W
Truellen 444992 5015115 45° 17' 14.575" N 81° 42' 05.224" W
Tugs 448066 5011973 45° 15' 33.607" N 81° 39' 42.933" W
W.L. Wetmore 444297 5012669 45° 15' 55.121" N 81° 42' 36.138" W
444364 5012641 45° 15' 54.232" N 81° 42' 33.052" W

Note: Easting and Northing coordinates are Universal Transverse Mercator Projection Zone 17 North. All projected and geographic coordinates are North American Datum 1983.

Permitting Requirements

  • A park permit is required to enter restricted boating areas in the park.
  • A park permit is required prior to diving in the park.

Information

For questions concerning Fathom Five National Marine Park, contact Parks Canada at 519-596-2233 orbruce-fathomfive@pc.gc.ca, or visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fathomfive.

For general information regarding Parks Canada's National Marine Conservation Areas, National Parks or National Historic Sites, please contact our National Information Service at 1-888-773-8888 orinformation@pc.gc.ca, or visit Parks Canada website: www.parkscanada.gc.ca.

3.  National Marine Conservation Areas in Western Canada

3.1  Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage site

Gwaii Haanas is a 5000 km2 land-and-sea protected area located at Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) in British Columbia. It is cooperatively managed by the Government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation. The terrestrial portion is protected under the Canada National Parks Act  (S.C. 2000, c. 32) and the adjacent marine area is protected under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act  (S.C. 2002, c. 18).

Coordinates

Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage

Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site is one of the first National Marine Conservation Areas (NMCA) established in Canada. NMCAs are intended to protect and conserve representative marine areas for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the people of Canada and the world. The fully protected areas in the Gwaii Haanas Marine Area (see map) protect key areas of biodiversity, rare and sensitive ecosystem elements, and important cultural sites.

Permitting requirements

Those who would like to visit the Gwaii Haanas Terrestrial Area must obtain a permit at the Gwaii Haanas office in Skidegate or by calling 877-559-8818. Visitors are also required to receive an orientation prior to going ashore. These requirements do not apply to people of Haida ancestry.

Visitors are welcome at the Haida Gwaii Watchmen Sites including K'uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), T'aanuu Llnagaay (Tanu), Hlk'yah GawGa (Windy Bay), Gandll K'in Gwaay.yaay (Hotspring Island), and SGang Gwaay (Anthony Island). Between May and September, please contact the onsite Haida Gwaii Watchmen by radio (marine channel 6) before coming ashore.

Restrictions

  • Commercial and recreational extraction of all types (e.g., fishing, plant harvesting) are prohibited within the fully protected areas of the Gwaii Haanas Marine Area.
  •  Removal of any items from above the high tide line in Gwaii Haanas (i.e. within the Gwaii Haanas Terrestrial Area) is strictly prohibited.

Information

For questions concerning Gwaai Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, contact Parks Canada at 877-559-8818 or gwaii.haanas@pc.gc.ca, or visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/gwaiihaanas.

For general information regarding Parks Canada's National Marine Conservation Areas, National Parks or National Historic Sites, please contact our National Information Service at 1-888-773-8888 orinformation@pc.gc.ca, or visit Parks Canada website: www.parkscanada.gc.ca.

Authority: Parks Canada Agency