The continuing expansion of aquaculture operations on the south coast of Newfoundland has presented a challenge to departments and agencies responsible for regulating the environmental effects of this industry, to develop management strategies, and to ensure sustainable development of the coastal marine environment. Recently, oceanographic and ecological modelling have been recognized as important tools for predictions of disease transmission as well as the nature and scale of effect, from proposed and existing farm sites on the proximal benthic environment.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Science, Newfoundland and Labrador Region, has acknowledged the importance of development and implementation of scientifically-validated environmental and disease management policies in support of regulatory decisions and procedures associated with site licensing, production planning, and sustainable management of the rapid expansion of the industry on the south coast. Through the Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR) programme, the Aquaculture Section, NL Region has initiated a programme to collect oceanographic information from areas on the south coast of Newfoundland to be used in modelling efforts to provide the foundation for knowledge concerning the transport and dispersal of fish farm wastes and pathogens. The work is comparable with efforts being conducted in other areas of the country as part of DFO’s regulatory Science renewal efforts. This initiative directly contributes to addressing the Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Healthy and Productive Aquatic Ecosystem strategic outcomes of DFO. It also contributes to the Sustainability of Aquaculture component of the DFO Five Year Research Strategic Plan.
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