June 18, 2018, 12:49 pm

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Pacific Ocean

Canada’s Pacific coast supports rich coral assemblages dominated by large gorgonians such as Primnoa spp., Paragorgia spp., and bamboo corals. Lophelia pertusa is also present, and smaller octocorals such as sea whips and sea pens are abundant. Although fisheries closures exist for glass sponge reefs on this coast where cold-water corals often co-occur, currently there are no coral specific protection measures. The Canadian Pacific coast currently has no protected areas either, but since 2006, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has been developing a strategy to protect corals and sponges in the Pacific, which should be implemented through Canadian Integrated Fisheries Management Plans (IFMPs) and the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA) marine planning process.