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Atlantic (Marine)  
Arctic Archipelago (Marine)  
Map of the Northwest Atlantic Marine ecozone  

Location | Climate | Geography | Flora and fauna | Humans

This ecozone begins in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and continues north along the Labrador coast to the southeastern end of Baffin Island, where it moves offshore, extending almost to Ellesmere Island.

This ecozone extends from the Gulf of St. Lawrence along the northern coast of Quebec and the eastern coast of Baffin Island almost to Greenland and Ellesmere Island. Cold waters from the Labrador Current meet warmer waters from the Gulf Stream and the St. Lawrence river, which also adds fresh water to the salty ocean currents. Winter brings ice to much of the ecozone; the St. Lawrence river usually freezes over and icebergs are plentiful in the northern regions. Tides in the north may be up to 12 metres high, the tides in Ungava Bay rivaling those of the famous Bay of Fundy.

Fjords, cliffs, and bald rock are found along the shores here, the result of grinding glaciers during the last Ice Age 10 000 years ago. The continental shelf means that the maximum depth never much exceeds 300 metres.

Flora and Fauna
To the north, only algae grow, but further south conditions allow for kelp, phytoplankton, and seaweeds.

Aquatic mammals found here include humpback whales, atlantic right whale, bowhead whale, blue whale, beluga, fin whales, minke whales, sei whales, blue whale, orca, sperm whale, poroises, longsnout dolphin, whitebeak dolphin, bearded seal, and harp seal.

Gannet, razorbill, thick-billed murre, black guillemot, northern fulmar, and common ringed plover are just a few of the bird species to be found here.

The atlantic tomcod is one of the predators here, preying on such species as rainbow smelt and mummichog. Some of the species that live in the ocean but enter freshwater to spawn are sea lamprey, atlantic sturgeon, alewife, atlantic salmon, arctic char, and American eel.

Some of the crustaceans found in these waters include stone crab, Neolithodes grimaldii, American lobster, rock crab, Sclerocrangon boreas, Acadian hermit-crab, striped pink shrimp, and Lebbeus groenlandicus.

In the northern section of this ecozone, human activity is largely subsistence activities and commercial fishing. The southern section is the Gulf of St Lawrence, and must deal with the pollution of that river, including agricultural runoff, municipal sewage and industrial pollution.


Atlantic (Marine)Arctic Archipelago (Marine)

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