Canada-U.S. Transboundary Steering Committee Oceans Working Group Review of the Gulf of Maine Overview Report


The Canada-U.S. Transboundary Resources Steering Committee was established in 1995 to promote a collaborative approach to fisheries resource management in the Gulf of Maine. This committee is representative of the firm commitment Canada and the U.S. have each made to the principles that underscore ecosystem based management.

At a meeting of the Oceans Working Group of the Canada-U.S. Transboundary Resources Steering Committee in March 2006, it was concluded that a cooperative Canada-U.S. integrated assessment and ecosystem overview for the Bay of Fundy-Gulf of Maine area should be considered, focusing on offshore waters and living marine resources. The report was to generally follow the standard Ecosystem Overview and Assessment format developed by Canada with some modifications to reflect the interests of the working group. Ecosystem overview and assessment reports bring together scientific information in order to describe the current understanding of the ecosystem and are used by oceans managers, partners, and stakeholders to assist in planning human activities. It was determined that the group would initially focus on the ecosystem overview aspects of the report. As such, the report is intended to provide a general overview of the status and trends of the major parts of the ecosystem (e.g., geology, oceanography, biology) and to describe relationships between these parts. It is intended to take a community approach to describing the ecosystem; however, some individual species of importance are also described.


  • To review material contained in the Gulf of Maine Ecosystem Overview Report for accuracy and completeness. More specifically,
    • Has the Ecosystem Overview adequately summarized (i.e., provided a balanced and objective summary of) the relevant sources of information available to describe the marine ecosystem in the Gulf of Maine?
    • Has any data/information been omitted that might change our understanding of this ecosystem?
    • Does the document accurately portray the current scientific understanding of, and uncertainty related to, the components of the ecosystem described?
    • Have the sources of uncertainty, or issues of ongoing debate, been clearly identified?


Reference Document



DFO Maritimes scientists and managers
NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region scientists and managers
U.S. State (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire) and Canadian Provincial (New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) representatives
NEFMC representatives
Academics and other invited guests