Marine environment

Forillon National Park

Park boundaries extend more than 150 metres into the sea. This protected area is representative of Gulf of St. Lawrence ecosystems.

Underwater life

Beneath the surface you can see starfish of all colours, fish with unimaginable particularities and crustaceans of all sizes! The park’s underwater periphery is home to a sizeable diversity of animals and plants, as it consists in different types of seabeds (e.g., sand, rock, stone, etc.) of varying depth and characterized by a range of salinity levels as well as exposure to waves and currents of varying intensity. 


The park’s shorelines constitute a living environment of choice for the harbour seal and the grey seal. Of the two species, the harbour seal is the only one that breeds and lives here year-round. The grey seal arrives in Forillon in the spring and leaves in the fall. It swims in from the southern portion of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, offshore from Nova Scotia and the Magdalen Islands.


Six species of cetaceans are regular visitors to the waters surrounding the park, namely, the minke whale, Atlantic white-sided dolphin and humpback whale, as well as three endangered species: the harbour porpoise, fin whale and blue whale. Whales travel here to feed: the park’s marine waters are particularly rich thanks to the inflow of minerals from three major rivers as well as the high phytoplankton productivity and nutrient levels associated with the Gaspé Current.


Forillon’s huge cliffs are of vital importance for tens of thousands of seabirds, which flock here every year to nest and breed. Moreover, the park is home to the largest black-legged kittiwake colony in eastern Canada. Other species of note include the razorbill, common murre, double-crested cormorant, black guillemot, great black-backed gull and herring gull.  

Salt marsh

Eelgrass bed

Want to know more?
Come visit the park and meet our interpreters! They will be delighted to share their knowledge and answer your questions.

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