The Gulf Region
The Gulf Region
The Gulf Region includes the waters of the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence at the eastern coast of New Brunswick, the Northumberland Strait coast of Nova Scotia and Western Cape Breton Island, as well as Prince Edward Island. The Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence covers an area of 240 000 km2 and borders 7, 000 km of coastline.
Area offices are located in Tracadie, N.B., Antigonish, N.S., and Charlottetown, P.E.I. The regional headquarters are in Moncton, N.B.
75% of DFO's Gulf Region workforce is bilingual, serving 70 Official Language Minority Communities. In addition, 14 First Nations have fishing access in the Southern Gulf of St- Lawrence. The Gulf Region is committed to fostering positive relations with them and supporting their interests in fisheries and other ocean activities.
The waters of the Gulf Region are home to many animals and plants. Eelgrass, an underwater plant, plays a very important role in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence biodiversity. Several marine mammals, including the fin whale, the grey seal, and the white-sided dolphin also live the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.
In addition, recreational fishing of several species, including Atlantic salmon, striped bass, and smelt is practiced in the region
Among the most productive marine areas in Canada
The Gulf Region has less than 1 % of Canada’s waters, but it accounts for 15% of the total catch value of all Canadian fisheries. In 2015, 10 057 fishermen caught 86 400 tonnes of fish and crustaceans. 19 617 tonnes of snow crab, 23 472 tonnes of herring and 27 067 tonnes of lobster have been caught, making them the most harvested species in the Gulf region.
In the same year, the landing value of commercial fisheries totaled approximately $471 million. The herring fishery yielded $9 million (2%), the shrimp fishery, $17 million (4%), the snow crab fishery, $119 million (26%), the lobster fishery, $285 million (63%) and all the other fisheries generated $21 million (5%).
In 2013, the PEI aquaculture industry produced 22,894 tonnes of mussels for a value of $30.3 million. That's 80% of all Canadian mussel production.
A focus on science
One third of the Gulf Region’s workforce is dedicated to science. Some scientists work in the only certified Level 3 biocontainment facility in Canada for live aquatic animal disease research. Others conduct surveys, do research and provide assessments for fished species while their colleagues research shellfish aquaculture, marine protected areas, aquatic invasive species and species at risk.
The Gulf Region is home to more than 120 harbours
More than 3,800 boats are registered at one of the region’s harbours, including the largest inshore fishing harbour at Escuminac, in N.B.
The Richiboucto harbour in New Brunswick is a wonderful example of collaboration. It serves three distinct fishing cultures: the Aboriginal, Acadian and Anglophone communities of the area
Compliance and Enforcement
Roughly 90 fisheries officers are dispatched on the field. Six of them work for the National Fisheries Intelligence Service. Activities on the land, in the air and at sea range from high visibility patrols to undercover operations.
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