The Grand Banks of Newfoundland, once world-renowned for their seemingly limitless populations of cod, lie within the Atlantic Marine Ecozone. But four centuries of relentlessly evolving technology driven by ever-increasing demand took their toll on the cod. Canadian and foreign fishing fleets vacuumed the ocean of commercial fish. With the commercial extinction of cod a serious possibility, Canada banned cod fishing in 1992 in hopes the stocks would recover.
Fishing for other species such as lobster, shrimp, and crab still provides a livelihood for some families. Aquaculture is spreading, with experiments in salmon, scallop, and cod farming under way in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. But the real hope for future economic development in the ecozone now lies with offshore oil and gas production. The rich Hibernia and Terra Nova oil and gas fields are buried there, as are reserves off Nova Scotia along the Scotian Shelf.