Marine Protected Areas: Legal Framework for the Gully Off the Coast of Nova Scotia (Canada)

in B. Lausche, Guidelines for Protected Areas Legislation, IUCN Environmental Policy and Law Paper No. 81, 2009

Posted: 19 Jul 2012

See all articles by Paul Macnab

Paul Macnab

affiliation not provided to SSRN

David VanderZwaag

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

The Gully, a submarine canyon hosting a rich diversity of marine life off Nova Scotia, was designated in 2004 under Canada’s Oceans Act 1996 as a marine protected area (MPA). This case study reviews the Gully MPA legal and management framework through a five-part discussion. First described is the overall Canadian law and policy context for establishing MPAs. Next, specific legislative and regulatory provisions governing the Gully MPA are summarized including the three types of management zones adopted, ranging from strict preservation to multi-use. Management approaches to control human activities in and around the MPA are then described, with a focus on the Gully Marine Protected Area Management Plan. Ongoing management challenges are highlighted including implementation of the ecosystem approach, unresolved legal issues, such as what constitutes a disturbance of the Gully MPA for prosecution purposes, and governance limitations, in particular limited financial and human resources. The case study concludes with lessons to be learned from the Gully MPA experience. Key lessons include: the time-consuming nature of MPA establishment, the usefulness of multi purpose zoning, the need for a multi-agency approach, the value of strong communication with user groups, the importance of linking MPA designation to integrated management planning, and the need for ongoing law and policy review.

Keywords: Nova Scotia, oceans, marine protected area, Gully, zoning, ecosystem, zones

Suggested Citation

Macnab, Paul and VanderZwaag, David, Marine Protected Areas: Legal Framework for the Gully Off the Coast of Nova Scotia (Canada) (2009). in B. Lausche, Guidelines for Protected Areas Legislation, IUCN Environmental Policy and Law Paper No. 81, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2112259

Paul Macnab

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

David VanderZwaag (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
6061 University Ave
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

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