Atlantic Marine Ecozone

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The Atlantic Marine Ecozone, as defined by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), is a Canadian marine ecozone that stretches from the Davis Strait to encompass the Grand Banks, to the Avalon Peninsula on the shores of Newfoundland. It includes all of the southern coast of Newfoundland, all the eastern coast of Nova Scotia, and portions of the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Maine.

The waters of this zone have been overfished, and in 1992 the Government of Canada banned cod fishing, though there are no restrictions on other species. Shellfish species, including lobster, shrimp, and crab, have become an increasing component of the fishing industry, which has been in decline. Since the late 1990s, the Hibernia oil field has become an important economic resource for Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Terra Nova oil field is increasingly important to Nova Scotia. Further oil and gas exploration is being conducted on the Scotian Shelf.[1]

Geography[edit]

Most of the waters in this zone are thousands of metres deep,[2] with the exception of the Grand Banks, which average about 150 metres before the sea floor drops precipitously beyond the continental shelf.

Climate[edit]

Iceberg off Newfoundland's coast

Exceptionally dense fog is common where the cold Labrador Current merges with the warm Gulf Stream.[3] By late winter, thick icebergs traverse the northern regions of this ecozone, from Greenland to Newfoundland. They have been feared by mariners for centuries, as well as being responsible for one of the deadliest disasters in maritime history, the sinking of the RMS Titanic.[4] This resulted in the zone's colloquial name "Iceberg Alley".[5] Tidal ranges throughout the zone are moderate, typically a few metres. The exception is the Bay of Fundy, whose famous tides may top 15 metres.[3]

Surface water temperatures in August may reach 10 °C in the north, and up to 23 °C in the south.

In spring, phytoplankton biomass increases significantly, becoming a rich source of food within the ecozone.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Human Activities in the Atlantic Marine Ecozone". Atlantic Marine Ecozone. Environment Canada. Archived from the original on March 26, 2004. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  2. ^ Bernhardt, Torsten. "Atlantic Marine". Canada's Ecozones, Canadian Biodiversity project. McGill University, Redpath Museum. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  3. ^ a b "Landforms and Climate of the Atlantic Marine Ecozone". Atlantic Marine Ecozone. Environment Canada. Archived from the original on March 26, 2004. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  4. ^ https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=iipWhereIsIcebergAlley
  5. ^ "Iceberg Alley". Atlantic Marine Ecozone. Environment Canada. Archived from the original on February 12, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  6. ^ "Plants of the Atlantic Marine Ecozone". Atlantic Marine Ecozone. Environment Canada. Archived from the original on March 26, 2004. Retrieved 2008-02-13.