Dec 04

BoFEP Announces New Ocean Health Project

We’re happy to announce a brand new project, beginning in January 2014! With the support of DFO and Environment Canada, BoFEP will be applying the Ocean Health Index to the Bay of Fundy Marine Resources Planning Area.


Take a look at our press release below!





Bay of Fundy Will be Graded on Ocean Health “Report Card” in 2014

St. Andrews, N.B., (Dec 4, 2013) – A healthy ocean provides fisheries, tourism, carbon storage, climate regulation and incredible biodiversity. But which of these benefits should be prioritized? How should ocean health be measured? And critically, can the needs of this delicate ecosystem be balanced with the demands of an ever-growing population?

Today the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership (BoFEP) announced a marine health report card project that will provide some answers to these questions. The Bay of Fundy will soon join the hundreds of islands, bays and coastal communities around the world who have used the Ocean Health Index (OHI) to examine marine health. The report card includes several subjects (concentration of pollutants and fish stocks, for example) and all the components contribute to an overall score.

With the support of Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BoFEP will use the OHI to examine key indicators through a pilot project in the Bay of Fundy Marine Resources Planning Area, along the coast between Saint John and the US border. This pilot project will help inform management decisions, direct research priorities, track conservation goals and fill in important data gaps for communities and government agencies.

“The OHI protocol uses existing datasets to develop health scores, ” explained BoFEP Chair, Marianne Janowicz.

The OHI does not offer a score between pristine and damaged, instead ecological benefits (biodiversity, habitat integrity, water quality) are considered alongside human benefits (fisheries, tourism & coastal livelihoods).

“No analysis of ecosystem health is perfect and even the most sophisticated model will be a simplification of a deeply complex environment,” said Janowicz, “With this project, BoFEP aims to embrace that complexity and analyze ocean health in a way that reflects the needs and values of the whole ecosystem, including the human communities.”

Data assessment will begin in January, and scores will be made public as they become available in mid to late 2014.




The Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership works with individuals, government agencies, academic institutions and industry to protect and promote the integrity, vitality, biodiversity and productivity of the Bay of Fundy.