ARCHIVED - Aquaculture Monitoring Standard - DRAFT

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

I. Introduction

This standard is intended to support the sampling requirements of the Aquaculture Activities Regulations (AAR) under the Fisheries Act. This document provides the necessary level of detail to enable the owner or operator of an aquaculture facility to produce to the greatest extent possible, consistent and high quality data to support the implementation of the AAR. The content of the standard was derived from relevant and available sources. It is acknowledged that Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) will establish a multi-year science-based research and advisory process to support implementation of the regulations and possibly enhance relevant procedures in this standard. Further, as with many regulatory monitoring programs, this standard will be updated as required.

A. Definitions

Fallow” means inactive or not in use, where no cultivated fish are held at the facility

Performance standard” means a threshold established to limit environmental effects arising from licensed activities

Reference station” means a sampling station chosen to represent background or natural environmental conditions in a given area, i.e. free from direct aquaculture influences

Sampling station” means the precise location where recording is carried out and any samples are collected

Soft bottom” means, in relation to a body of water, a bottom or floor that consists of loose particles, such as clay, mud, marl, sand, pebbles, gravel, shells or small stones

B. Application

  • Section II, Procedures for Monitoring BOD, by Province, applies only to finfish aquaculture facilities located over soft bottom as indicated in section 8 of the Aquaculture Activities Regulations
  • Section III, Monitoring for the Presence of Drugs and Pest Control Products, applies to all aquaculture facilities where a deposit occurs and if there is an observation of unusual fish morbidity or mortality as per section 9 of the Aquaculture Activities Regulations
  • The standard will be available on DFO’s website

II. Procedures for Monitoring BOD, by Province

A. General Comments

  • While practitioners must follow each section set out in this standard, any deviations, based on exceptional site-specific circumstances, must be justified in writing and submitted with the AAR Annual Report to DFO (click here to see a proposed template for reporting)
  • The current standard supports the monitoring of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) at marine finfish farms with soft bottom environments in British Columbia (BC), Nova Scotia (NS), New Brunswick (NB) and Newfoundland and Labrador (NL)
  • While the AAR stipulates a minimum of four stations for the Atlantic Provinces and two stations for British Columbia, the number of stations may change based on the specific procedures outlined below; Provincial regulators may require additional monitoring related to BOD

B. British Columbia

C. Nova Scotia

  1. Establishing Sampling Stations

  1. There will be a minimum of three monitoring stations within a lease. Stations will be evenly spaced on either side of centre along the longitudinal axis beginning with a station at either end of the axis (see Figure 1 in Appendix 2). If production is greater than 450,000 fish or rotated within the site, then additional stations will be assigned. If the grid is more than 2 rows, stations will be further offset to occur in each row.
  2. The location and number of sampling stations varies with stocking and configuration. An example based on Table 1 (see Appendix 1), for a farm with 750,001 to 900,000 fish, is shown in Figure 1. Table 1 details the level of monitoring required based on production levels at each site.
  3. Accuracy of sampling stations is critical to program efficacy with the goal of achieving consistency and repeatability. For this reason, sampling vessels must be moored during collection of replicates. Samples will be collected on the cage edge (between boat and cage if using grab) and will target the downstream side of the highest production cages in that region of the site. Using a Global Positioning System (GPS) device, a waypoint will also be logged at every sampling location (North American Datum 1983 (NAD83) in decimal degrees or Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) metres) and submitted in editable electronic spreadsheet format (e.g. Excel) to DFO.
  4. If necessary, revised sampling station locations may be determined once on-water field work begins. Where cage gear prevents access to the pre-assigned monitoring stations, or there are no high-density stocked cages within 10 metres (m) of the coordinates provided, sampling will take place as close as possible to the station without risking entanglement of equipment. As with any other sampling station, another waypoint must be logged at the new location. Record the distance and direction from the proposed waypoint. Those coordinates, with explanation of spatial variation, must be provided with the submission of the AAR Annual Report in editable electronic spreadsheet format (e.g. Excel). A template is provided in Table 2 Appendix 1.
  5. There will be at least two reference stations per lease. Reference stations will be 100-300 m from the site in an alongshore axis both upstream and downstream of the site. Reference samples must be collected from a similar depth and sediment type to lease stations.
  6. In the event that the off-site distance criterion cannot be achieved, reference samples should be collected from a new sampling station with water depths similar to that of the lease.

  2. Sediment Sampling Methodology

  1. Samples can be collected using either diver or grab. The sampling methodology for using a diver to collect sediment samples is outlined in Wildish et al., (1999, 2004). Additional guidance on diver coring methodologies is also presented below. The main goal is to use an appropriate sampling method, or device, which maintains an intact sediment-water interface.

Remote Grab Collection

  1. The Ekman grab will be used for sample collection. If using a grab, 1 plastic syringe core, e.g. similar to Becton-Dickson 5 cubic centimetres (cc) (Fisher cat. No# 14-823-35), will be used to remove surface sediment from 3 points on the sediment surface. This is done by pushing the cut-off syringe into the sediment then gently withdrawing sample while taking care to avoid collecting air spaces in the plastic tube.
  2. It is critical that sediment samples are obtained from the top 2 cm of sediment only. The first point will remove 2 cm, the second point will remove 2 cm and the third point will remove 1 cm.
  3. Ensure no head space or air cavities are present in the syringe. This syringe, containing 5 cm of sediment from 3 points within the grab, will be kept dark and chilled (not frozen) until processed. Each plastic core syringe shall be labeled with a sample ID sticker.
  4. This process will be repeated twice more for a total of 3 syringes from 3 different grab replicate extractions at each sampling station (3 total) to achieve a desirable sampling resolution over the 5 m2 area.

Diver Core Collection

  1. When locations and sampling conditions allow cores to be collected by divers, cores should be inserted into the bottom to minimize disturbance of the sediment surface. Geochemical measurements in Nova Scotia are to be made on the surface layer (0-2 cm) of undisturbed sediment.
  2. Open-ended cores should be slowly inserted into the bottom with a gentle twisting action to minimize sediment compression. Cores should have drilled holes at various depths to allow lateral sampling of the surface layer closest to the sediment-water interface using 5mL cut-off plastic syringes.
  3. The length of sediment cores obtained will be determined by the grain size and water content of the deposits being sampled. For example, if 30 cm long acrylic core tubes are used in soft, mud-rich sediments these should be ~50% full with a 15 cm sediment column and 15 cm of overlying water.
  4. Once sediment is in the core, the diver seals the upper end with a cap to maintain overlying water above the undisturbed sediment surface. Vertically intact cores must be brought to the surface in an upright position.
  5. Transfer of sediment-filled cores between small boats and shore or into vehicles should be done gently to minimize disturbance of the sediment-water interface.
  6. Clarity of overlying water can be used to visually confirm that the sediment surface is as undisturbed as possible. Intact sediment cores should be stored upright in an ice-filled cooler or placed in a refrigerator (5°C) until analysis.
  7. In addition, the following recommended practices should be applied to all sample collection:
  1. Rinse all sampling equipment with saltwater between deployments to remove all debris and sediment;
  2. Siphon (not pour) the overlying water from the sample. It is important to maintain an undisturbed sediment sample and avoid getting surface water in syringe;
  3. If sample is spoiled at any point during the collection (e.g., equipment malfunction, human error), repeat steps from beginning to collect undisturbed sample;
  4. If bottom type does not allow for sample collection after five attempts the sampling team should move to another station location within the lease. Collect new waypoints and make note to indicate non-standard sampling; and
  5. When moored to static structure take care not to repeat exact sampling position of initial grab.
  1. The procedures outlined below are based on information found in Wildish et al. (1999) and Wildish et al. (2004).
  2. The following probes and meters are recommended: Accumet AP63 Portable pH/Ion Meter, Orion 9616BNWP Sure-Flow™ Combination Silver/Sulfide Electrode 9616BNWP and Orion Epoxy Redox/ORP electrode 9678BNW for measurement of sulfide. Use of comparable probes and meters is acceptable. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for proper details on set up and use of probes and meter.
  3. If any of the chemicals or electrodes/instrumentation used for these analyses are other than those outlined above references, provide supplier name and product number.
  4. A sample of the data recording sheet can be found in Appendix 1 Table 2. Please retain original record of sampling data.

Sulfide Analysis

  1. Total dissolved sulfides are measured in micromoles/litre (µM).
  2. As an accuracy check for the internal meter calculation, record the associated millivolt (mV) value for both the calibration curve and sulfide samples. This allows calculation of the sulfide value directly from the calibration curve.
  3. Five calibration standards will be used to check the accuracy of the sulfide electrode prior to sample analysis (100 µM, 500 µM 1000 µM, 5000 µM and 10000 µM); record both µM and mV readings. Include notes regarding any calibration problems on data sheets. Calibration of the sulfide electrode is stable for up to 3 hours.
  4. The Accumet AP63 Portable pH/Ion meter’s default calibration values are a factor of 10 times less than the actual standard concentrations, therefore the displayed calibration value must be multiplied by 10 to obtain the correct concentrations.
  5. The sulfide electrode will be filled with Orion Optimum Results B (cat. No. 900062) at least 24 hours before use.
  6. Measurements will be taken within 72 hours of sample collection with an Accumet AP63 Portable pH/Ion Meter and Orion 9616BNWP Sure-Flow™ Combination Silver/Sulfide Electrode 9616BNWP.
  7. Each 3 mL sub-sample will be mixed with 3 mL of sulfide antioxidant buffer (SAOB) + L-ascorbic acid (SAOB + L-ascorbic acid is stable for a maximum of 3 hours).
  8. Sulfide readings will be taken once the SAOB + L-ascorbic acid/sample mixture reaches the same temperature at which the electrode was calibrated.
  9. Sulfide reading will be recorded once the value has stabilized (usually within 2 minutes). Note samples that require 2 minutes. Record µM and mV values.
  10. The sulfide electrode is to be rinsed with distilled water and dried between sample measurements (gently blot dry with Kimwipe).

  3. Data Requirements

Templates (Tables 2 and 3 in Appendix 1) should be provided in editable electronic spreadsheet format (e.g. Excel). The coordinates should be submitted in NAD83 (decimal degrees or UTM meters). Table 2 also includes columns to input summary laboratory results. Please submit this table in addition to completed laboratory analysis of total dissolved sulfide.

D. New Brunswick

  1. Establishing Sampling Stations

  1. The number of transects and sediment samples for sulfide monitoring will be determined in accordance to the following:
  1. At sites with fish present and harvesting has not begun for the current production cycle, refer to Table 4 (see Appendix 1);
  2. As shown in Table 4, one transect will be laid and three sediment samples will be collected for each 100,000 fish, or part thereof, that are onsite at the time the monitoring is conducted, with a minimum of two transects and six sediment samples at sites with 1 to 200,000 fish;
  3. At sites where harvesting has begun for the current production cycle or where harvesting has been completed (i.e. no fish on site), sediment samples and transects will be positioned in the same location as those in the most recent monitoring by referring to their DGPS coordinates;
  4. Regardless of water depth, if the number of fish onsite is 0 then no transect will be laid;
  5. The position of transects for monitoring will be determined in accordance to the protocol shown in Table 5 (see Appendix 1). In all cases, cages along the outside perimeter of the cage configuration will be selected for positioning of transects. Also, separate cages will be selected for positioning of transects, beginning in order from the cage with the highest to lowest biomass, relative to others, in relation to the prevailing water current pattern, current speed, and direction of the shoreline;
  6. Figure 2 (see Appendix 2) shows transect positions at sites with generally linear water current patterns with moderate or high current speeds. Figure 3 (see Appendix 2) shows transect positions at sites with generally curving water current patterns or low current speeds;
  7. The position of sediment samples for monitoring will be determined in accordance to the protocol shown in Table 5 (see Appendix 1). All sediment samples will be positioned at cage edge, where one set of three samples will be collected in similar substrate, within a 1 metre square area surrounding the end of a weighted drop line on the sea floor. The weighted drop line shall have graduated measurements. Each 1 metre shall be marked by an indicator line, each 5 metre interval must be marked with a tag indicating the measurement, i.e., 5 m, 10 m, 15 m; and
  8. At sites where harvesting has begun for the current production cycle or where harvesting has been completed (ie. no fish on site), sediment samples and transects will be positioned in the same location as those in the most recent monitoring by referring to their differential GPS (DGPS) coordinates. The DGPS coordinates of each set of three samples will be recorded in degrees, minutes and decimal minutes (3 decimals) using the NAD83 reference.

2. Sediment Sampling Methodology

  1. The collection of samples for may be accomplished by either scuba diver or by surface-deployed equipment.

Remote Grab Collection

  1. Sediment samples will be collected by surface-deployed grabs which will have an opening on the top to access and analyze the top 2cm of sample collected. Before emptying the grab 3 samples will be collected from the top 2cm of the grab collection.
  2. Alternative sampling techniques for obtaining surface deployed samples, such as the use of a Remotely Operated Vehicle may be used and specific protocols must be submitted in AAR Annual Report.
  3. The analysis of sediment samples for sulfide will be conducted in accordance to the following protocol:
  1. One 5 ml sub-sample for sulfide analysis will be collected from the top 2 cm of each core or three 5ml sub-samples per grab sample immediately after redox analysis;
  2. The 5 ml sub-sample will be analyzed immediately or stored on ice in an air-tight container with no head-space and analyzed within 72 hours;
  3. Sulfide measurements will be taken with a Thermo Orion Silver/Sulfide electrode (model 9616) which has been calibrated according to the sulfide electrode calibration section below;
  4. Each sub-sample will be mixed with 5 ml of a solution of L-ascorbic acid and sulfide anti-oxidant buffer (SAOB) provided by a chemical supplier;
  5. The solution of L-ascorbic acid and SAOB will be prepared within 3 hours of being mixed with each sub-sample as per manufacturers recommendations;
  6. Once the solution of L-ascorbic acid and SAOB is mixed with the sub-sample, the sample will be brought to the same temperature at which the electrode was calibrated, and then the sulfide will be measured once the value has stabilized or within 2 minutes;
  7. The sulfide electrode will be rinsed with distilled water and dried between measurements; and
  8. The sulfide electrode will be calibrated in accordance to the following protocol:
    • The sulfide electrode will be filled with Orion Optimum Results B (cat. No. 900062) at least 24 hours before use; three sulfide standards will be used for calibration (100 µM, 1000 µM and 10000 µM);
    • The 10000 µM sulfide standard will be prepared using de-aerated water and stored in the dark, bottled under nitrogen, and opened immediately before use;
    • The temperature of the sulfide standards will be known by those conducting the sulfide analyses so that the samples can be brought to the same temperature when analyzed;
    • Regardless of the number of samples analyzed, the calibrated sulfide electrode will be used for a maximum of 3 hours from the time the first measurement is taken to the time the last measurement is taken, before re-calibration is necessary;
    • The sulfide electrode will be used to a maximum of 72 hours post calibration;
    • If the Accumet AP63 meter is used, the meter’s default calibration values will be a factor of 10 times less than the actual standard concentrations, therefore the results must be multiplied by 10 to obtain the correct concentrations; and
    • The date, time and temperature at which the electrode was calibrated will be provided in the AAR Annual Report.

Diver Core Collections

  1. The collection of sediment samples conducted by scuba divers in accordance to the following protocol:
  1. Core samples will be collected using clear core tubes approximately 30 cm long by 5 cm in diameter, with tape-covered holes, to allow for redox measurement of the top 2 cm of sample while contained within the core tube;
  2. At each sample location, the diver will push the core tube vertically into the sediment as deep as possible, to a maximum depth of 10 cm; and
  3. The core sample will be removed, capped, and handled in a manner such that disturbance of grab the sample is minimized and the sediment-water interface is as undisturbed as possible.

3. Data Requirements

In addition to the data requirements in Appendix 1, information contained within this section provides guidance for preparing a site plan monitoring. The site plan will be prepared for monitoring at a scale of no greater than 1:5000, preferably 1:2000. It will include the following:

  • Distance scale bar;
  • North arrow;
  • Depth at site center at mean low tide;
  • Depth (as measured by a graduated sampling line) at all sampling stations;
  • Existing layout of cages at the time the monitoring was conducted;
  • Year class;
  • Species of fish cultured;
  • Number of fish on site at time of monitoring;
  • Most recent harvest completion date;
  • Percentage of total biomass in each cage at the time the monitoring was conducted;
  • Prevailing water current pattern; and
  • Position of transects, (if applicable), and sediment samples.

E. Newfoundland and Labrador

  1. Establishing Sampling Stations

  1. Produce a video recording of conditions immediately under each cage.
  2. For aquaculture sites with five finfish cages or less, provide sediment samples from each cage location—two sediment samples per cage for cages located at the end and outside of an array, and one sample per cage on all other cages.
  3. For aquaculture sites with more than five cages, provide sediment samples and depths for the entire aquaculture lease area at a sample density of not more than 100 meters spacing (a 20 hectare 400m x 500m site, would have 30 sample sites). That is to say, a minimum of four samples per hectare must be provided.Footnote 1

  2. Sediment Sampling Methodology

  1. Sampling must be completed not more than two weeks before or two weeks after a fallow period begins.
  2. Sampling must be completed every rotation cycle until a “steady state” is attained. That is to say, if no increase in farm production occurs from one production cycle to the next, or there is no change in what is being farmed, (shellfish to finfish, or salmonids to cod), and monitoring indicates or two consecutive fallow periods demonstrates no change in detriment to fish or fish habitat, sampling may then be completed once every second rotation period or once every six years (whichever is shorter).
  3. Sampling must not be completed at a site that has had a disease outbreak within the past six months. For a farm that has had a disease outbreak within six months of the start of the fallow period, monitoring should be completed only after a minimum six month fallow period. For all sampling, all equipment must be sanitized in accordance with approved bio-security protocols, prior to arriving on site and again when departing a site.
  4. Both a video of site bottom conditions and grab samples must be collected from under cages. Grab sampling should be completed when water temperatures are not very low or very high such that fish are not stressed.
  5. Video may be recorded using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), a drop (cable) camera, or scuba divers with hand held video camera(s) (where possible). The perimeter of the area under each cage must be videotaped, and as much area under each cage as possible.
  6. The video must record the date and be accurately referenced such that an individual viewing the video can appreciate conditions under each cage. The video must be well balanced with respect to image focus, clarity, colour balance and lighting.
  7. The video must be accompanied by (completed) Table 6 and Table 7 (see Appendix 1). Ensure Table 6 text describes the exact site location; images on the tape; depth of water under each cage; and, the camera/video location per cage. Be sure to include an accurate site drawing indicating where the video and grab samples were taken. See the sample drawing (Figure 4, Appendix 2) and directions attached.
  8. For each sample provide a description of the bottom, i.e., is the bottom mud, sand, gravel or rock? What colour is the sample? For example – Fine light brown sand, or grey sandy gravel, or black mud, etc.
  9. For each sample site, and where possible, take an Ekman Grab or core sample of the bottom and measure total free sulfide from the sediment sample. If a sample cannot be taken, state why.
  10. For each sample station sample identification number, coordinates and water depth at low tide must be provided. Three (3) bottom grabs are to be obtained at each sample station and sediment color, sediment consistency (sandy, gravel, rock, mud, etc.), sediment sulfide in micromoles/litre (µM) and pictures are to be provided.
  11. If sites are sampled by bottom grab only, three grabs per station (generally on 100 m grid) and grab sample observations for sulfide measurements where possible and corresponding pictures must be provided (if nothing is collected in the grab, then no picture is necessary, but must be recorded as such).
  12. If the depth of a sample stations is greater than 100 m, grab samples are generally not required.

  3. Data Requirements

  1. Record cage number and location (latitude/longitude to nearest second).
  2. Report data in an editable electronic spreadsheet format (e.g. Excel) according to the format of Table 6 in Appendix 1. Complete all Required Columns in the table. Where previous video indicates mainly soft sediments, (i.e., mud, sand, organic deposition, etc.), three (3) bottom grabs per sample location are to be attempted. If a grab sample cannot be taken, please state why.

III. Monitoring for the Presence of Drugs and Pest Control Products

A. General

  1. Following observations of unusual fish morbidity or mortality, as per section 9 of the AAR, water, sediment, and fish tissue sampling of the non-cultivated species in question must be conducted as outlined in the sections below.
  2. All water, sediment, and/or tissue samples collected by the owner or operator will be submitted to a Standards Council of Canada accredited laboratory for conducting analyses. The specific chemotherapeutants to be analyzed will be determined by DFO.
  3. Immediately prior to any chemotherapeutant treatment, prepare all required sampling supplies and equipment as described below and transfer to the collection boat, which should be ready for a rapid deployment.
  4. Copies of the field note forms and specific requirements for chemical analysis should be included with the shipment to the analytical lab.
  5. Original field note forms and digital images should be stored in a secure cabinet.
  6. Samples, sampling supplies, and equipment must be stored in a clean environment, away from therapeutants, to reduce the potential for contamination. Sealed, watertight containers are preferred for storing sampling supplies to help to prevent contamination.
  7. All equipment must be cleaned with detergents and rinsed three times with sterile water between sampling sessions and when there may have been direct exposure to therapeutants or indirectly via dust or water vapour.

B. Fish Samples

  1. Upon observation of moribund or dead fish of any life stage, and subsequently notifying a fishery officer and obtaining DFO authorization, site staff should immediately deploy the collection boat to locate the fish and begin sampling.
  2. Fish of the same species and of representative size should be collected, up to a maximum of 50 fish per species. Where permissible, reference fish of similar size and species should be collected in the same manner and numbers from outside the zone of aquaculture influence.
  3. Protect the integrity of the fish by ensuring no damage occurs to the outside or to the gills of the fish. External lacerations provide entry points for contamination and can lead to fluid loss and/or uncertainties regarding analysis results.
  4. Using sterile impermeable (e.g. latex or nitrile) gloves set the fish on a clean piece of aluminum foil to record observations.
  5. Record digital images of all fish, ensuing that any morphological abnormalities and parasites are observed and the corresponding sample identification label is included in each image.
  6. Double wrap individual fish in heavy duty aluminum foil then double bag the fish using appropriately-sized sterile bags, ensuring that the sample identification label is included inside the outer bag and the bags are sealed with a zap strap. Place clean cork stoppers over significant carapace spines prior to wrapping.
  7. Store fish on ice in a closed cooler during collection.
  8. Continue collecting dead or moribund fish observed in the vicinity of the aquaculture site using new gloves, new aluminum foil and a clean club between fish.
  9. Low temperature storage is important to preserving the target analytes by preventing their degradation. Fish should be kept in bags on ice during collection and subsequently frozen as soon as possible on-site at -20°C for storage.
  10. As soon as the fish are cooled to -20°C, and within two weeks after collection, fish should be packed in coolers containing dry ice, ice or cooler packs and shipped to a lab for tissue processing, extraction, and analysis, as described below.
  11. During transport to the lab, frozen fish should be packaged in coolers with ample supply of coolant material. The amount of coolant material required should reflect the sample weight and anticipated shipping time.
  12. If using dry ice, follow shipping company guidelines.

C. Sediment Samples

  1. At the same time as the collection of fish samples, sediment samples will be collected.
  2. Three sediment samples (replicates) for chemotherapeutant analysis must be collected at the same sampling location(s) as identified for BOD sampling. An equivalent number of reference samples will be collected from an area beyond the predicted exposure zone.
  3. All equipment parts that come in contact with a sample must be composed of metal, glass, or uncolored polyfluorocarbon.
  4. Follow the procedures for collecting sediment grabs or cores as per the respective sections of the Standard regarding BOD sampling.
  5. Remove the top 2 cm of sediment from the core tube.
  6. Place the sediment into 500mL amber glass jars. Immediately chill samples by placing them in an ice chest with wet or dry ice for transport, and ship to an accredited Standards Council of Canada laboratory for chemotherapeutant analysis.

D. Water Samples

  1. Water column sampling at all stations must be completed at the same time as fish and sediment samples.
  2. If a tarpaulin or skirting application method was employed, three water column samples (replicates) will be taken:
    1. at a horizontal distance of 0 m (i.e., within the cage); and;
    2. at a horizontal distance 100 m from the cage edge, in the direction of the dominant current, and within 10 m of the surface ; OR
  3. If a well boat application method was employed, three water column samples will be taken:
    1. at a horizontal distance of 10 m (i.e., within the treatment well); and;
    2. at a horizontal distance 100 m from the discharge point, in the direction of the discharge plume; and within 10 m of the surface.
  4. An equivalent number of reference samples will be collected at the same depth as those collected at the 100 m station.
  5. Clean-sampling techniques are required when collecting samples for analysis of trace organic compounds and major inorganic elements, particularly when the target analyte may be subject to contamination from field and/or laboratory procedures at a level that could exceed data quality requirements.
  6. Select equipment with metal, glass, or uncoloured fluorocarbon polymer components if the components will directly contact samples to be analyzed for organic compounds. Do not use plastics other than uncoloured fluorocarbon polymers.
  7. A Van Dorn Sampler is recommended to obtain discrete, surface samples but any non-contaminating sampler may be used and the protocol for collection, preservation, and transport (to an accredited Standards Council of Canada laboratory for chemotherapeutant analysis) should be reported in the AAR Annual Report to DFO.

E. Field Recordings Related to All Sample Types

  1. For the proper interpretation of analytical results it is important to collect all vital field data in a consistent and standardized method.
  2. Data collection forms should include the specific information included below. Separate identification labels that accompany the samples during storage and shipment should be designed to correspond with the data collection forms.
  3. Indelible pens and field grade waterproof paper would be recommended.
  4. Specific information requirements include:
    • Aquaculture site and company name;
    • Site manager and contact information;
    • Sampler name and crew members;
    • Depth and GPS coordinates of aquaculture site;
    • Species, size and biomass of fish on site at treatment time;
    • Chemotherapeutant product, method of application, application concentration, amount of product applied and stage of application when affected fish were observed;
    • Date and time of collection;
    • Time and location when fish were first observed and name of observer(s);
    • Time and location (GPS coordinates) when fish were collected and names of collectors;
    • Surface water temperature at time of sampling at farm site;
    • Weather/Air Temperature;
    • Collection method;
    • Fish Identification Number;
    • Photograph number;
    • Length Measurements;
    • Weight (g);
    • Species;
    • Condition: live or dead and if live, describe behaviour observed;
    • Observed morphological abnormalities: such as evidence of tissue damage, growth abnormalities, lacerations, fin erosion, skin ulcers, neoplasms;
    • Quantity and type of parasites; and
    • Record of storage and transport conditions (time spent at ambient temp/time spent on ice at collection and storage time).

Appendix 1 – Tables

Table 1: Number of Sampling Stations Required (Nova Scotia)

Maximum number of fish during production cycle Number of sampling stations required (not including reference stations)

0 to 450,000

3

450,001 to 600,000

4

600,001 to 750,000

5

750,001 to 900,000

6

900,001 to 1,050,000

7

1,050,001 to 1,200,000

8

Table 2: Coordinate and Lab Results Template (Nova Scotia)

Sample Station ID Number Location Sulfide
Concentration
(µM)
Actual
Latitude
Actual
Longitude
           
           
           
           
           
           

Table 3 – Log Sheet (Nova Scotia)

This table is to be completed by marine finfish operations in Nova Scotia. Sediment sample collection data is to be recorded, including water depths, site location, narrative description of sediment type, sampling problems, and weather conditions.

Table 3

Table 4 – Number of transects and sediment samples for monitoring (New Brunswick)

This table describes how many sampling stations (not including reference stations) are required in relation to the maximum number of fish during a production cycle at an aquaculture site in the province of New Brunswick; the higher the maximum, the more sampling stations that are required.

Table 4

Table 5: Position of sediment samples for monitoring (New Brunswick)

Prevailing water current pattern of site Transect Position Add checkmark for completion of step Information regarding deviations, if applicable

Generally linear (uni- or bidirectional) with moderate or high current speeds.

  1. Cages along the outside perimeter of the cage configuration will be selected for positioning of transects;
  2. When more than one transect is on the same side of a site, they will be positioned at separate cages, beginning in order from the cage with the highest to lowest biomass relative to the others along the same side;
  3. The first two transects will be positioned at opposite sides of the site, in alignment with the prevailing water current pattern;
  4. The third and fourth transects, if required, will be positioned approximately at right angles to the prevailing water current pattern, on sides of the site that do not yet have a transect;
  5. The third transect, if required, will be positioned on the shoreward side of the site, as long as space is available;
  6. The fourth transect, if required, will be positioned on the side of the site furthest away from the shore;
  7. The fifth transect and others, if required, will be positioned parallel to one of the first two transects, continuing around the site as for the second, third, and fourth transects.
   
Generally curving (eddies or follows shoreline, uni- or multi-directional) or low current speeds
  1. Cages along the outside perimeter of the cage configuration will be selected for positioning of transects;
  2. When more than one transect is on the same side of a site, they will be positioned at separate cages, beginning in order from the cage with the highest to lowest biomass relative to the others along the perimeter;
  3. The first two transects will be positioned approximately at right angles to each other, with one transect on the shoreward side of the site, as long as space is available, and the other transect aligned approximately with the general directional trend of the shore;
  4. The third and fourth transects, if required, will be positioned on the opposite sides of the site to the first two transects;
  5. The third transect, if required, will be aligned approximately with the general directional trend of the shore;
  6. The fourth transect, if required, will be positioned on the side of the site furthest away from the shore;
  7. The fifth transect and others, if required, will be positioned parallel to one of the first two transects, continuing around the site as for the second, third, and fourth transects.
   

Table 6: Coordinates Template for Soft Bottom Sites (Newfoundland and Labrador)

Cage Number Sample Location (Latitude/Longitude to seconds) Bottom Type and Condition Comments and General Observations Date
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

Table 7: Sample Data Template for Soft Bottom Sites (Newfoundland and Labrador)

Table 7

Appendix 2 – Figures

Figure 1: Location and Number of Sampling Stations (example scenario – Nova Scotia)

This figure provides guidance on where samples should be taken in relation to the configuration of containment cages at an aquaculture site.

Figure 1

Figure 2: Transect positions for monitoring at sites with generally linear water current patterns with moderate or high current speeds (New Brunswick)

This figure provides guidance on where to collect samples in New Brunswick if sites have a linear water pattern with moderate or high current speeds.

Figure 2

Figure 3: Transect positions for monitoring at sites with generally curving water current patterns or low current speeds (New Brunswick)

This figure provides guidance on where to collect samples in New Brunswick if sites have curving water current patterns or low current speeds.

Figure 3

Figure 4: Location of Sampling Stations (Newfoundland and Labrador)

This table provides guidance on how to diagram the containment array, including global positioning system (GPS) coordinates, for location of where sediment samples should be collected. The labelled diagram must also include location of nearby onshore and offshore infrastructure (wharves, buoys, cabins, etc.).

Figure 4

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Sediment samples in this context refer to sample station which is in turn to be grab-sampled three times.

Return to footnote 1 referrer