On June 8, 2010, the Laurentian Channel was announced as an Area of Interest (AOI) for potential designation as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) under the Oceans Act.
The Laurentian Channel is a deep submarine valley over 1200 km long. It extends from the intersection of the St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers to the edge of the continental shelf off Newfoundland. The Channel is approximately 35,840 km2 in total; however, the AOI is limited to approximately 12,000 km2 off the southwest coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Laurentian Channel was identified as an ecologically and biologically significant area. It contains the highest concentration of black dogfish in Canadian waters and is the only place where pupping occurs. It is an important spawning, nursery, and feeding area for a variety of species including porbeagle shark and smooth skate and is a critical migration route for marine mammals moving in and out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Two Species at Risk – the Northern wolffish and Leatherback sea turtle are also found in this area.
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting and conserving the rich and varied marine environments which contribute to the health, integrity, and productivity of our oceans. By preserving our oceans, we are protecting the future of those who depend on them.