Canada's Ocean, Freshwater & US

Location: Coastal Atlantic Marine
Approximate Area: 100,013 hectares
Date of Designation: 2019
Conservation Objectives

To conserve and protect seabed and water column habitats, as well as to promote the recovery of at-risk species of whales and wolffish.


It is prohibited to carry out activities that disturb, damage, destroy or remove living marine organisms, or any part of their habitats, from these areas.

Why (environmental context for protection)

This approximately 1,000-square-kilometre area off the eastern tip of the Gaspé Peninsula was designated a marine protected area in 2019 to protect a highly productive zone in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The MPA encompasses a rocky ridge extending 35 kilometres eastward from Cape Gaspé and its adjacent sandy plains. It was identified as an “Area of Interest” in 2011, but it took a 2017 expedition by Oceana Canada in partnership with DFO to confirm what scientists had long believed: that the unique hydrography of the American Bank supports an astonishing array of life, from commercially important but depleted fish species such as cod and redfish to species at risk such as blue whales and leatherback sea turtles. There are also many forage species (prey) such as capelin, herring, sand lance and krill.