Description of critical habitat of the northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus), Scotian Shelf population, in the Gully Marine Protected Area

DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND OCEANS

SPECIES AT RISK ACT

Description of critical habitat of the northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus), Scotian Shelf population, in the Gully Marine Protected Area

The Scotian Shelf population of the northern bottlenose whale is listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The critical habitat for this population was identified in the Recovery Strategy for the Northern Bottlenose Whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus), Scotian Shelf Population, in Atlantic Canadian Waters (www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/document/doc1863f/ind_e.cfm). The recovery strategy, prepared under subsection 37(1) of SARA, was included in the SARA public registry on May 17, 2010.

Whereas a portion of the critical habitat of the northern bottlenose whale, Scotian Shelf population, occurs in a Marine Protected Area (MPA), a place referred to in subsection 58(2) of SARA, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans hereby describes that portion of critical habitat corresponding to Zone 1 of the Gully Marine Protected Area. For information regarding the remaining portions of critical habitat for this population, please refer to the above-mentioned recovery strategy.

Gully Marine Protected Area Zone 1

Located south of Nova Scotia, Canada, the Gully is the largest submarine canyon on the east coast of North America. The Recovery Strategy for the Northern Bottlenose Whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus), Scotian Shelf Population, in Atlantic Canadian Waters identifies the entirety of Zone 1 of the Gully MPA as critical habitat.

The geographical description of Zone 1 of the Gully Marine Protected Area can be found in the Gully Marine Protected Area Regulations, SOR/2004-112, and is available on the Canada Gazette at the following address: http://gazette.gc.ca/archives/p2/2004/2004-05-19/html/sor-dors112-eng.html.

Since northern bottlenose whales use the full depth range in these areas, breathing and socializing at the surface and diving to feed at or near the bottom, critical habitat for this species should be considered to include the entire water column and the seafloor.

August 15, 2010

GAIL SHEA
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

[33-1-o]

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