Sandra Autef, project manager at the Mi'gmaq and Wolastoqey Indigenous Fisheries Management Association (AGHAMW) and Fanny Noisette, professor of biological oceanography at the Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMER)
Her colleague, Fanny Noisette, adds that we often forget the very important aspect they have in maintaining the biodiversity of our coastal ecosystems. According to her, this is a role that is as important as their carbon capture potential. These kelp forests also have other ecological roles: they act, among other things, as a lobster nursery or a larder for sea urchins.
Various partners are also working to map these St. Lawrence forests. The goal is simple: know where they are to better protect them. If we have oil spills in the St. Lawrence, which is a threat that exists, which area will we protect first? What are the most vulnerable areas?, argues Ms. Noisette.
Mapping is carried out using drone flights or satellite imagery. There are different techniques that are being refined year after year to have more and more precise data, mentions Ms. Autef.
Open in full screen mode
Algae helps slow coastal erosion, in addition to providing refuge and food for other species.
The global portrait allows the different levels of government to make decisions to better protect these sectors, in a context of increase in the global surface area of marine protected areas.
We have targets of 30% in Canada in 2030 […] maybe that mapping wild kelp fields can be integrated into this strategy.
A quote from Sandra Autef, project manager, Mi'gmaq and Wolastoqey Indigenous Fisheries Management Association
The most recent marine area to have been protected is that of Banc-des-Amériques off the coast of Gaspé. It is also the first to have dual protection status from the provincial and federal government. It took a long time, but it happened, so we know it can happen again, says Sandra Autef. In fact, Ottawa and Quebec are working together to create a marine park between Anticosti Island and the Mingan Archipelago national park reserve. A consultation process will be undertaken shortly.