Research funded by the International Governance Strategy (IGS)

The International Governance Strategy funds projects by Fisheries and Oceans Canada researchers. Research supports Canada’s engagement in international fisheries management. Search the following filtered list for projects under the strategy.

Description Code Eco-region Year(s)
Improving Understanding of Past, Current and Future Direct and Indirect Effects of Grey Seal Predation on Transboundary Groundfish Stocks

The increasing abundance of Grey Seals over the past several decades has been linked to observed increases in the natural mortality rates of several exploited fish stocks in eastern Canada. To more accurately estimate fish stock size and avoid unreliable projections concerning the impact of harvesting or recovery strategies on fish populations, long-term trends in natural mortality rates need to be taken into account. This project will use ex...

Principal investigator: Hugues Benoît

IGS 2014-2-12 Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves 2015 20162017- 2018
Zonal Program for the Comprehensive Biological Sampling of Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin Tuna are a highly migratory species, which makes international co-operation essential for their management and conservation. This project will contribute to the Grande Bluefin Year Program (GBYP), initiated in 2008 by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to address knowledge gaps that cause uncertainty in Bluefin stock assessment models. The research will contribute to GBYP by: continuing to imp...

Principal investigator: Alex Hanke, Gary Melvin

IGS 2014-1-1 Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary 2014 - 2015
Synthesis of Bluefin Tuna Pop-Up Satellite Archival Tagging Study Data in Support of Spatially Explicit Movement Models for the 2015 Stock Assessment

Since 1999, electronic tagging studies by western Atlantic research teams have gathered information about the movement and behavior of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna. This project will synthesize all available tagging information to determine migration paths, investigate inter-annual patterns of movement, and identify potential spawning habitat and environmental limits and/or preferences. Specifically, the research will: develop an electronic tag inf...

Principal investigator: Alex Hanke

IGS 2014-1-3 Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary 2014 2015- 2016
Stock Assessment of the Baffin Bay Narwhal Population Using Aerial Survey, Satellite Telemetry, and Harvest Information

Narwhals in the Eastern Arctic, which are classified as Special Concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), are a key priority fishery for the Department. Inuit hunt narwhal on their summering grounds in the fiords and inlets of northeastern Canada and northwest Greenland, on their wintering grounds, primarily in Disko Bay, Greenland, as well as in the spring and fall when t...

Principal investigator: Steven Ferguson

IGS 2014-1-13 Arctic: Canadian Arctic Archipelago 2014 20152016- 2017
Species Distribution in Response to Temperature Across the Hague Line

Major fish populations straddle both sides of the international Hague Line, a maritime boundary that divides the Canadian and U.S. portions of the Gulf of Maine–Georges Bank. Populations of Atlantic Halibut, which straddle the line, are the most valuable groundfish in Nova Scotia, however they are considered depleted in the U.S. Since fish follow their preferred temperature range, anticipated ocean warming in the region has the potential to a...

Principal investigator: Nancy Shackell

IGS 2014-2-11 Atlantic: Gulf of Maine, Scotian Shelf 2014 2015- 2016
Spatial Analysis of Commercial Fishing Effort and its Relationship to Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) in Newfoundland–Labrador Waters

To evaluate any adverse impacts fishing may have on an ecosystem, it is essential to thoroughly understand the geographic distribution and characteristics of commercial fisheries (e.g. type of gear used, etc.). This project will develop a comprehensive picture of the spatial relationships between commercial fisheries off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador and the location of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) and VME indicator species. A...

Principal investigators: Neil L.M. Ollerhead, Mariano Koen-Alonso

IGS 2014-3-8 Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves 2014 2015- 2016
Reverse Retrospective Analysis of the Bluefin Tuna Assessment and Recruitment Patterns

The bi-annual assessments of the western Bluefin Tuna stock conducted by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) currently start at 1970. Data prior to 1970 has been deemed uncertain. Examination of past assessments suggests that the starting year can and does affect perceptions of stock status and recruitment. In the current time series of d...

Principal investigator: Gary Melvin

IGS 2014-1-6 Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary 2014 - 2015
Ocean Acidification in the Arctic: Drivers and Impacts

In the Arctic Ocean, the acidification of surface waters has already reached the critical level for marine organisms that form shells and skeletons of calcium carbonate (CaCO3 ). Although ocean acidification is a global issue, polar oceans are inherently more vulnerable to it than temperate oceans due to the higher solubility of carbon dioxide and dissolution of CaCO3 in cold waters. Rapid environmental change in recent years—i...

Principal investigator: Kumiko Azetzu-Scott

IGS 2014-2-2 Arctic: Canadian Arctic Archipelago 2014 20152016- 2017
Multispecies Dynamics in Northwest Atlantic Marine Ecosystems: Towards Practical Tools for Multispecies Management Decisions

This project will use available data to analyze and model the dynamics of key fish species in the Newfoundland–Labrador marine ecosystem, including linkages among them (e.g. food web connections). A comparison of different modelling approaches will be carried out to assess their potential for informing management decisions involving multi-species interactions. The findings will contribute to the development and implementation of an ecosystem ...

Principal investigators: Mariano Koen-Alonso, Pierre Pepin

IGS 2014-2-15 Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves 2014 20152016- 2017
Migratory Movement Patterns of Juvenile North Pacific Albacore Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean

Existing evidence from large-scale tagging programs in the 1960s and 1970s support the hypothesis that there are two groups of juvenile Albacore Tuna in the north Pacific Ocean that migrate seasonally from the central Pacific into eastern and western Pacific Oceans. Juvenile Albacore in the eastern Pacific Ocean are harvested by Canadian and U.S. troll fisheries. This project will implement a collaborative tagging program—combining standard ...

Principal investigator: John Holmes

IGS 2014-1-9 Pacific: North Coast and Hecate Strait 2014 20152016- 2017
Management Strategy Evaluations for Redfish Stock in NAFO Division 3LN

The Redfish stock in NAFO Division 3LN re-opened for fishing in 2010 after a 12-year moratorium. However, there is no long-term management strategy in place for this stock, which both Canada and NAFO have identified as a priority. The NAFO Fisheries Commission requested that its Scientific Council advise on a management strategy that would enable the total allowable catch to be progressively i...

Principal investigator: Peter Shelton

IGS 2014-1-10 Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves 2014 - 2015
Loggerhead Sea Turtle Post-release Survival in the Large Pelagic Longline Fishery

Loggerhead Turtles are classified as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) also assessed Loggerheads as Endangered in 2010, and a decision regarding potential listing under Canada’s Species at Risk Act is pending. In Atlantic Canada, incidental hooking of these turtles in pelagic1 longline fisheries is the only documented source of human-ind...

Principal investigator: Mike James

IGS 2014-3-6 Atlantic: Gulf of Maine, Scotian Shelf 2014 2015- 2016
Linking Bottom-up Projections of Ecosystem Production Potential for the Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves and Grand Banks with Environmental Drivers

The implementation of an ecosystem approach to fisheries for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) requires estimates of overall ecosystem production potential—taking environmental conditions and ecosystem state into account—in order to establish fishery production potential. The Newfoundland and Labrador Shelf ranges from temperate to sub-arctic environments, and preliminary estimates of production potential in ecosystem subun...

Principal investigators: Pierre Pepin, Mariano Koen Alonso

IGS 2014-2-14 Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves 2014 20152016- 2017
Inventory of Fishes and Associated Habitats in the Western Canadian Arctic Exclusive Economic Zone

Building on research conducted in 2012–13 for the Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment Marine Fishes Project, this 2014 survey will address key gaps in baseline knowledge of offshore deep water marine fishes, their habitats and ecosystem linkages. The study includes the first-ever comprehensive survey of deep water areas (1,000+ meters) in the Canadian Beaufort Sea and south-western Canadian Archipelago. New findings will be linked with...

Principal investigator: Andy Majewski

IGS 2014-2-6 Arctic: Beaufort Sea 2014 20152016- 2017
Improvements in the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Catch-at-age: Cohort Slicing Versus Age/Length Keys

A length-based growth model is currently used to determine the age of Bluefin Tuna, producing a single age for all fish of the same length. Major initiatives are underway to develop improved ageing methods under the Grande Bluefin Year Program of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). For example, the analyses of tuna otoliths (ear bones) enable scientists to determine the distribution of length for a giv...

Principal investigator: Gary Melvin

IGS 2014-1-7 Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary 2014 - 2015
Identification and Mapping through Predictive Modelling of Coldwater Coral and Sponge Species in the Sub-Arctic/Eastern Arctic Project Description

This project will initially identify the species of coral and sponge samples collected during DFO research vessel surveys in the Eastern Arctic and Sub-Arctic from 2009 to 2013. The knowledge gained will be transformed into at-sea identification guides to improve reporting accuracy. Species distribution models (SDMs) of the study area will also be developed to predict the probability of species or habitat occurrence in poorly sampled and unsa...

Principal investigator: Ellen Kenchington, Kent Gilkinson

IGS 2014-3-1 Arctic: Canadian Arctic Archipelago 2014 20152016- 2017
Genetic Determination of Catch Composition and Stock Exploitation of Atlantic Salmon Harvested in Mixed Stock Fisheries in the Northwest Atlantic

Multi-sea winter Atlantic Salmon in the northwest Atlantic migrate to feeding grounds off the west coast of Greenland, where they have been traditionally harvested in local fisheries. In 2013, a subsistence harvest replaced commercial fishing, although pressure to reopen it remains. The catch is currently allocated to the continent of origin (i.e., North America or Europe). Given the presence of endangered and threatened salmon populations th...

Principal investigator: Ian Bradbury

IGS 2014-1-8 Arctic: Canadian Arctic Archipelago 2014 20152016- 2017
Fishes and Ecosystems of the Central Arctic Ocean

Degradation of polar pack ice, warming of the Arctic Ocean, and related climate change phenomena such as an increased influx of fresh water have significantly reduced the areal extent and thickness of summer sea ice in the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO). Despite inter-annual variability, significant portions of the CAO are mostly ice free in late summer, including fishable areas with depths of less than 2,000 metres. As access increases, concern ...

Principal investigator: Jim Reist

IGS 2014-2-8 Arctic: Beaufort Sea 2014 2015- 2016
Evaluating the Role of Bottom-up Effects of Prey Availability on the Survival and Local Abundance of Atlantic Salmon

Poor marine survival of Atlantic Salmon has led to about a 70 percent decline in abundance since 1970. Though the causes are not well understood, observed differences in survival between two types of spawners from the Miramichi River may provide a clue. Survival for repeat spawners that spend less than a year at sea has been relatively good and appears to be related to possible feeding success in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In contrast, surviva...

Principal investigator: Hugues Benoît

IGS 2014-2-13 Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary 2014 20152016- 2017
Effects of Changing Oceanographic Conditions and Competition on the Survival and Growth of Sockeye, Pink, and Chum salmon in the North Pacific Ocean: Implications for National and International Fisheries Assessment and Management

Populations of Pacific salmon are widely distributed throughout the North Pacific Ocean and intermingle and compete with each other regardless of their country of origin. Overall, the abundance of salmon in the North Pacific is at an all-time high due to a combination of generally favourable climate and large releases of hatchery origin salmon, mostly from Alaska and Asia. In recent years, returns of certain Canadian populations of salmon hav...

Principal investigators: James Irvine, Carrie Holt, Marc Trudel

IGS 2014-2-16 Pacific: North Coast and Hecate Strait 2014 20152016- 2017
Distribution of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem Components and Observable Fisheries Impacts on Cobb Seamount

Canada manages a longline trap fishery for Sablefish on Cobb and other seamounts in the area covered by the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean. In 2012, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collected field data during a six-day survey of benthic (bottom) marine communities on Cobb Seamount. The survey covered 19 sites a...

Principal investigator: Janelle Curtis

IGS 2014-3-4 Pacific: Vancouver Island West Coast 2014 20152016- 2017
Development of Fishery Independent Indices of Abundance for the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Assessment models for western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna stock are primarily calibrated using fishery dependent catch-per-unit-effort indices of abundance. In recent years, however, concern has been expressed about whether these indices are representative due to changing fishing patterns and management strategies. The Standing Committee for Research and Statistics (SCRS) of the International Commis...

Principal investigator: Gary Melvin

IGS 2014-1-2 Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary 2014 2015- 2016
Collection of In Situ Baseline Data on Sea Pen and Non-coral and Sponge VME in the NAFO Regulatory Area for Future Evaluation of Protection Measures

Based on trawl survey data, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) has closed areas of the Flemish Cap to protect sea pens, and has identified significant concentrations of non-coral indicator species for vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) on the tail of Grand Banks. This project will collect on-bottom imagery of the sea floor to: assist NAFO in evaluating the effectiveness of ...

Principal investigators: Kent Gilkinson, Ellen Kenchington

IGS 2014-3-11 Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves 2014 20152016- 2017
Changes in Productivity in Arctic High Seas

Declining sea ice in the Arctic threatens ice-associated species and the structure and function of the Arctic ecosystem, however it may also increase the growth of phytoplankton—the foundation of the marine food web—and introduce the possibility of harvesting fish in areas previously not considered for exploitation. In February 2014, the Arctic Coastal States (Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States) reached an agreement to esta...

Principal investigator: Christine Michel

IGS 2014-2-4 Arctic: Beaufort Sea 2014 20152016- 2017
Canadian Implementation of the Arctic Council’s Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP)–Marine Plan

This project contributes directly to Canada’s commitment to implement the Arctic Council’s Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP)–Marine Plan. Seven Arctic coastal nations—Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Denmark/Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Russia and the United States—agreed to take a coordinated approach to monitor Arctic marine biodiversity and implement the plan. T...

Principal investigator: Jill Watkins

IGS 2014-2-3 Arctic: Beaufort Sea 2014 - 2015
Canadian Contributions to NEREIDA: Use of Benthic Data for Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management and Assessment of Significant Adverse Impacts in the NAFO Regulatory Area (NRA)

In 2006, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 61/105 called upon regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs)—including the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO)—to adopt conservation measures to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) from significant adverse impacts of bottom fishing in the high seas. The UNGA subsequently passed another resolution calling for RFMOs to adopt specific measures to strengthen...

Principal investigator: Ellen Kenchington

IGS 2014-3-10 Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves; 2014 20152016- 2017
Bluefin Tuna Migration Behaviour

Bluefin Tuna have been extending their range in Canadian waters since 2010, appearing in areas not recently frequented. There is growing evidence that spawning Bluefin in the eastern Atlantic and/or Mediterranean Sea may forage in the northwest Atlantic (i.e. northern Newfoundland waters). This project seeks to understand the factors that affect the presence of this species in a given area, including mixing rates, what drives the mixing, and ...

Principal investigator: Alex Hanke

IGS 2014-1-5 Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary 2014 2015- 2016
Biodiversity and Distributions of Corals and Sponges in the Eastern Canadian Arctic using a Remotely Operated Vehicle

Cold-water corals improve habitat quality for a wide variety of invertebrates and fishes, including commercial species, and are considered key components of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). In support of the Department’s ecosystem approach to fisheries management, this project will advance the identification, mapping and protection of cold-water corals and sponges in the Sub-Arctic/Eastern Arctic through targeted field studies to assess t...

Principal investigator: Kent Gilkinson

IGS 2014-3-2 Arctic: Canadian Arctic Archipelago 2014 20152016- 2017
Assessing the Response of Northern Shrimp (Pandalus borealis) Populations to Climate Change and Variability

All organisms have an optimal temperature window within which they function best. Extreme temperatures can be lethal, while even moderate deviations from the optimal temperature can affect productivity and performance, reduce resistance to environmental challenges such as warming, hypoxia, and ocean acidification, and increase total mortality. Northern shrimp are abundant from the Gulf of Maine (~40°N) to the Arctic (~66°N). Deep-water temper...

Principal investigator: Patrick Ouellet

IGS 2014-2-5 Atlantic: Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Estuary 2014 - 2015
An Examination of Cod Spawning and the Cod Spawning Closure in NAFO Subdivision 3Ps

The southern Newfoundland cod stock in NAFO Subdivision 3Ps is jointly managed by Canada and France. Due to concerns about the impact of overfishing during spawning, it is the only fish stock in the region for which a spring spawning closure is typically used as part of the management strategy. The closure was partially lifted for 2014, however, due to improved stock status and the desire of industry to fish when fish are most densely aggrega...

Principal investigator: Rick Rideout

IGS 2014-1-14 Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves 2014 20152016- 2017
Acoustic-based Indicators of Forage Species Productivity in Support of Ecosystem Considerations within the Management Framework of Straddling and Highly Migratory Stocks

All highly migratory species are likely to encounter a wide range of conditions throughout their migration. To understand how these species react to ecosystem change and stressors, there is a need to establish robust monitoring programs. This project aims to: develop and validate reliable ecosystem indicators of forage species productivity based on recent acoustic survey data, with the objective of linking food webs and commercial fish stock...

Principal investigator: Stéphane Gauthier

IGS 2014-2-17 Pacific: North Coast and Hecate Strait 2014 20152016- 2017
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