Important Areas for Cetaceans in West Coast Vancouver Island Ecoregion

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This layer details Important Areas (IAs) relevant to key cetacean species in the West Coast Vancouver Island (WCVI) ecoregion. This data was mapped to inform the selection of marine Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas (EBSA). Experts have indicated that these areas are relevant based upon their high ranking in one or more of three criteria (Uniqueness, Aggregation, and Fitness Consequences). The distribution of IAs within ecoregions is used in the designation of EBSAs.

Canada’s Oceans Act provides the legislative framework for an integrated ecosystem approach to management in Canadian oceans, particularly in areas considered ecologically or biologically significant. DFO has developed general guidance for the identification of ecologically or biologically significant areas. The criteria for defining such areas include uniqueness, aggregation, fitness consequences, resilience, and naturalness. This science advisory process identifies proposed EBSAs in Canadian Pacific marine waters, specifically in the Strait of Georgia (SOG), along the west coast of Vancouver Island (WCVI, southern shelf ecoregion), and in the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA, northern shelf ecoregion).

Initial assessment of IAs in PNCIMA was carried out in September 2004 to March 2005 with spatial data collection coordinated by Cathryn Clarke. Subsequent efforts in WCVI and SOG were conducted in 2009, and may have used different scientific advisors, temporal extents, data, and assessment methods. WCVI and SOG IA assessment in some cases revisits data collected for PNCIMA, but should be treated as a separate effort.

Other datasets in this series detail IAs for birds, coral and sponges, fish, geographic features, invertebrates, and other vertebrates.

Though data collection is considered complete, the emergence of significant new data may merit revisiting of IAs on a case by case basis.

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Data and Resources

Geographic Information

Spatial Feature

Contact Information

Delivery Point: Pacific Biological Station 3190 Hammond Bay Road

City: Nanaimo

Administrative Area: British Columbia

Postal Code: V9T 6N7

Country: Canada

Electronic Mail Address:

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