The Hamilton Bank-Hawke Channel region: potential as an offshore marine protected area?, a study to examine the physical, biological, economic, and social characteristics of an offshore fishing area

Brown, Thomas J. (1999) The Hamilton Bank-Hawke Channel region: potential as an offshore marine protected area?, a study to examine the physical, biological, economic, and social characteristics of an offshore fishing area. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The Hamilton Bank-Hawke Channel area is one of the most productive offshore areas in the North Atlantic. This region exhibits outstanding oceanographic features, high primary production, and is important to marine mammals and sea birds. In the past, the region was ecologically vital to Atlantic cod, redfish and capelin and has supported very large commercial fisheries. Since the decline of these species, current commercial fisheries in the area are rnainly for northern shrimp and snow crab. These fisheries are worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the harvesters, processors and residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to commercial species, the Hamilton Bank Hawke Channel area also has a wide diversity of other fish fauna. The area has been described as 'the engine that drives the northern cod' (deYoung and Rose 1993) and hosts the only known current offshore spawning biomass of northern cod on the Newfoundland-Labrador Shelf (Rose 1999). The region, in the past has also been very important for capelin, which disappeared in the early 1990's- Capelin abundances however, have been increasing over the last several years (R. O'Driscoll 1999. Personal Communication. Fisheries Conservation Chair, Memorial University of Newfoundland). The diversity of fauna, high productivity and oceanographic characteristics make the Hamilton Bank-Hawke Channel unrivaled in terms of its overall impacts on the Newfoundland-Labrador marine ecosystem and as a commercial fishing area. For these reasons this offshore area has high potential to be considered as a Marine Protected Area via the legislation of the Oceans Act of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10220
Item ID: 10220
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 131-137.
Department(s): Marine Institute
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Marine parks and reserves--Newfoundland and Labrador--Hamilton Bank --Planning; Marine parks and reserves--Newfoundland and Labrador--Hawke Channel --Planning.

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