Located in the heart of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, this archipelago is a paradise for numerous marine and avian species. The underwater plateau on which the Magdalen Islands rest covers several thousand square kilometres and is the warmest marine region in all of Canada!
Why protect this place?
Thanks to its oceanographic characteristics and the varied landscapes that make up the Magdalen Islands, this archipelago hosts a great diversity of wildlife species. Many of these species are otherwise absent or rare at such a latitude.
Approximately 300 species of birds frequent the archipelago or stop over during their migrations. This place is also a haven for seals and certain cetaceans that come to feed and give birth. Many species of fish, shellfish and mollusks are essential to the local island economy: a good many of the islands’ 12 000 inhabitants make their living by exploiting snow crab, American lobster and sea scallops, along with commercial fish species such as Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel and American plaice. Tourism is the other most important economic sector.
Species at risk: piping plover, horned grebe, blue whale, Atlantic right whale
Develop a regional tourism offering with terrestrial and marine protected areas
Regeneration of fish stock
CPAWS Quebec's work
The Magdalen Islands are at the centre of a marine park project that has been under discussion between provincial and federal governments and local communities since 2004.
CPAWS Quebec is working to ensure that this marine park is established. Over the past few years, we have met with communities to explain the benefits and functioning of marine protected areas, we have participated in a consultation process concerning the Île Brion ecological reserve, and we are encouraging dialogue among stakeholders and the dissemination of information about the risks of oil exploitation.
Protect the St. Lawrence
The St. Lawrence is of great ecological, socio-economic and cultural importance and must be further protected.