Study concerning a Marine Protected Area around the Îles de la Madeleine (Magdalen Islands)
THE CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE IS UP AND RUNNING
Cap-aux-Meules, Quebec, November 1, 2012 – The Consultative Committee associated with the study on the establishment of a marine protected area around the Magdalen Islands met today for the second time in Cap-aux-Meules. The meeting provided Committee members with an update on the progress of the study and gave them an opportunity to find out about the study’s implementation and work schedule and to express their respective viewpoints regarding the approach.
Since the previous Committee meeting held on May 9, 2012, the University du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) has gathered scientific data from various departments in order to present the ecological profile of the marine area being studied. The UQAR also conducted a sociological study among the residents of the Magdalen Islands with a view to identifying their perceptions and expectations regarding the conservation, management and showcasing of the marine environment. During the summer of 2012, targeted meetings were held with environmental groups, the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles and the Table pêche et mariculture des Îles-de-la-Madeleine [Magdalen Islands fishing and marine aquaculture table] to discuss the study. Finally, a talk was organized at the Aquarium des Îles to inform interested visitors.
Initiatives currently under way include the revamping of the study’s Web site and the preparation of an electronic newsletter that will provide community members and stakeholders with all relevant information. The UQAR has also proposed that a knowledge transfer seminar be organized, bringing together various local players for the purpose of enhancing the preliminary portrait of the area and identifying conservation issues. The Consultative Committee discussed ways of adequately informing the Magdalen Islands community about the study’s objectives and how the study will be carried out.
The two-year study on the establishment of a marine protected area around the Magdalen Islands will document the ecological, economic, social and cultural features of the environment being studied. Based on the study findings, the governments of Quebec and Canada will make decisions in accordance with their respective areas of jurisdiction, taking into account their common interest in protecting and showcasing the biodiversity of the Magdalen Shallows.
Additional information is available online at www.etudeairemarineim.ca/en/index.htm.
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