Eastern Shore Islands: A Coastal Gem

The Eastern Shore Islands is a unique archipelago, east of Halifax. These islands create a real diversity of habitats, and associated with this variety of habitats is a diversity of organisms.

Hi, my name is Ryan Stanley. I am a research scientist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.

Over the past several years my research has brought me to many places in Atlantic Canada, including the Eastern shore of Nova Scotia.

The Eastern Shore Islands is a unique archipelago, east of Halifax.

These islands create a real diversity of habitats, and associated with this variety of habitats is a diversity of organisms.

It’s a really exciting place to do research.

Obviously, we have the classic character – the American lobster. Quite a productive fishery there. Also, associated with these islands are habitats for juvenile fish.

Things like eelgrass beds and kelp.

Eelgrass is a unique ecosystem. It creates this natural complexity. Usually juvenile fish use these habitats for protection. It creates a variety of food sources, And really a diversity of organisms associated with this amazing habitat, makes a really important area for conservation.

So, we know that we have juvenile salmon, which use these inshore areas. We also have thriving populations of sand lance.

There are juvenile cod, sculpin and really a variety of fish and groundfish species that use this area.

The habitat and the really highly natural area associated with these islands is also quite important for those really stressed populations of Atlantic salmon.

So as kids we actually used to go camping in the Eastern shore with my family. And as a teenager, I would rent kayaks and go kayaking around the islands. And even at this younger age, I had a real appreciation for the naturalness of this area. And I hope it’s something that I’ll be able to bring my own kids to in the future. And really get to enjoy all of the things the Eastern shore has to offer.

More Information on the Eastern Shore Islands Area of Interest from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

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