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Dawn Mercer

Senior Oceans Biologist for Partnerships and Engagements

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Marine Conservation and Planning

Ecosystems Management Branch

Newfoundland and Labrador Region

Based at the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre in St. John’s, Dawn Mercer has worked with Fisheries and Oceans Canada for over 20 years. Her expertise lies in ecosystem based approaches to the planning and management of initiatives under Canada’s Oceans Act. Since joining the Department in 1999, Dawn has lead the development of integrated management planning for marine waters in Newfoundland and Labrador, played an intricate role in the establishment of Marine Protected Areas and has assisted in the development of Marine Environmental Quality objectives, guidelines and regulations. She has extensive experience in working with local communities and ocean users to maximize opportunities for collaborative projects on conservation and fostering stewardship and cooperation for the marine environment.


In her current capacity as the lead for Partnerships and External Engagements with the Marine Planning and Conservation section of DFO, she now directs a team responsible for the development of tools and guidance to facilitate the incorporation of ecological, social and economic considerations in ocean-related decision making. She is also leads the advancement of the Coastal Community Conservation Opportunities Initiative that has the objective to establish, in collaboration with community partners, marine conservation and protection in coastal areas of Newfoundland and Labrador. Dawn is committed to building strong relationships with community leaders, provincial and federal counterparts, Indigenous groups and stakeholders to further collaborative oceans management in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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