Advancing an Ecosystem Approach in the Gulf of Maine

Managing for Migrants: The Gulf of Maine as a Global “Hotspot” for Long-Distance Migrants

Antony W. Diamond


Abstract .—An ecosystem-based framework for managing the Gulf of Maine ecosystem needs to include the long-distance migrant species that use the system for only a part of their annual cycle. The numbers of cetaceans and seabirds in this category greatly outnumber those that breed within the gulf and risk being neglected in any framework that does not consider them explicitly. I review the role of the gulf in the life cycles of five species of cetacean, 18 seabirds or shorebirds, and five species of fish; the familiar iconic species, such as North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis , bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus , phalaropes (red-necked phalarope Phalaropus lobatus and red phalarope P. fulicaria ), and sandpipers Calidris spp., are flagships for many more species for which the Gulf of Maine plays an irreplaceable part in the annual cycle.