Canada (Gulf of St. Lawrence)

The Gulf of St. Lawrence Integrated Management (GOSLIM) initiative fosters coordination between the various initiatives carried out by stakeholders and authorities involved in protecting the Gulf of St. Lawrence marine environment. The size of the planning area is approximately 240,000 km2.

The GOSLIM Plan is a collaboration between federal government departments, provincial governments and Aboriginal organisations and covers a vast maritime region of Eastern Canada that encompasses the entire Gulf of St. Lawrence, including the Upper and Lower St. Lawrence estuaries.

The GOSLIM Plan uses a risk-based management approach designed to identify and set priorities among key management themes stemming from a review of interactions between ecosystem components and related human activities.
The desired outcome of this Plan is to establish the ecosystem basis for integrated management of activities in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as well as a framework and practical approach that enables:

  • Determine key management themes leading to the identification of priority issues and management actions;
  • Establish formal agreements on the actions to be implemented by all implicated federal and provincial regulatory authorities in a coordinated manner, utilising existing governance structures;
  • Engage targeted stakeholders, including Aboriginal groups, industry associations, environmental and community groups and municipal governments to participate in the process of planning and implementing management actions identified jointly with implicated federal and provincial regulatory authorities; and
  • Implement management actions through the regulatory bodies with the authority to effect changes and at scales that are appropriate to the specific nature of the concern being ad- dressed.

The Plan provides a general framework for the implementation of integrated management in the GOSLIM area. It is not a marine spatial plan. It outlines the process used by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to conduct a qualitative analysis of a number of ecosystem components and their perceived vulnerabilities to environmental stressors caused by human activities (first two phases) as well as the next steps leading to the development and implementation of action plans.

The Integrated Management Plan was submitted for review in December 2012 to regulatory authorities in the GOSLIM area and to First Nations communities and Aboriginal organisations, that share a common interest, as rights holders, in the management of coastal and marine activities and resources.

In addition, since 1988 the governments of Quebec and Canada have been working together with various stakeholders to conserve, restore, protect and develop the St. Lawrence River (, including: reduce pollution; protect human health; conserve, rehabilitate and develop animal and plant habitats; encourage sustainable navigation practices; and promote community outreach and involvement ( This initiative has not produced a marine spatial plan.