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Symposium on Gulf of St. Lawrence in Charlottetown to stress protection, conservation

A 10-year research project using tags and listening lines in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence sheds light on the species’ natural mortality as well as migration, important information for sustainable management of their populations. - Gilbert van Rijckevorsel
Sylvain Archambault, co-founder of the St. Lawrence Coalition and biologist at Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Québec, will provide the keynote address at the Gulf of St. Lawrence symposium, entitled “The Gulf of St. Lawrence, An Ecosystem Under Threat, In Need of Love”. - Gilbert van Rijckevorsel - Contributed

The Gulf of St. Lawrence – its richness and its vulnerability – will be the topic of discussion June 1.

Members of the local environmental group, Save our Seas and Shores P.E.I., invite the public to a half-day symposium at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown.

Sylvain Archambault, co-founder of the St. Lawrence Coalition and biologist at Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Québec, will provide the keynote address, entitled “The Gulf of St. Lawrence, An Ecosystem Under Threat, In Need of Love”.

The Gulf, home to more than 4,000 species, is under threat. Climate change has caused its waters to warm, to become more acidic and less oxygen-rich. Underwater noise, invasive species and habitat destruction are changing the patterns of the marine mammals, fish and crustaceans that live there.

According to Archambault, there is no single solution to all of these threats, but marine protected areas (MPAs) provide an interesting avenue. However, he said Canada still lags in the protection of the gulf.

The symposium will open with a poem by P.E.I.’s poet laureate Julie Pellissier-Lush, followed by a number of speakers.

The event is planned as part of World Oceans Week, June 1-8, and is meant to draw attention to the need to protect this diverse and rich ecosystem.

First Nations have relied on the gulf for their existence for thousands of years.

Today, it supports hundreds of coastal communities; due in large part to the economic benefits of fisheries and tourism.

The agenda will include opportunities for questions from the audience and a refreshment break will be provided. No admission fee will be charged, but donations to help with costs will be appreciated. The event runs from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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