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Oceanographic study of the south coast of Newfoundland (Baie d'Espoir and Fortune Bay)

PARR-2010-NL-09

Description

Newfoundland is experiencing a significant increase of salmon farming in the Bay d'Espoir-Fortune Bay area. The increasing biomass, number of companies operating, diversity of production strategies, and increasing concentration of fish farm sites in the area challenge biosecurity (procedures intended to protect humans or animals against disease) and the sustainability of this growth. Tracking these issues was challenging at the time of the project due to a gap in the oceanographic data available for these areas.

This oceanography project on the south coast of Newfoundland aimed to gain insight into the processes governing the ocean circulation in the area and to model and map the physical environmental parameters and estimate potential zones of influence. These zones are used to establish production management areas to support fish health management for finfish aquaculture and support the estimation of potential environmental zones of benthic influence associated with selected finfish farms in the area.

Findings

Oceanographic data were collected across Bay d’Espoir-Fortune Bay for spring and autumn 2010. Water depth measurements were carried out in the Connaigre Bay to generate spatial mapping, known as the bathymetry. Additional data were collected from historical records and compiled in a peer reviewed science advice document on the sea surface currents.

The influence of wind forcing, tidal exchange, and freshwater discharge on the surface water transport was estimated. Both winds and surface tidal mechanisms may influence surface drift in the area, but strong winds may predominate over tidal effects during some events. There was evidence of the effect of local topography on wind speed and direction enhancing local circulation patterns. Taken together, the findings suggest that typical zones of influence are between 5 and 18 km over a period of 24 hours. This research is being applied to understand aquaculture epidemiology models and production management areas.

Publications

Ratsimandresy, A.W., Page, F., Mabrouk, G., Losier, R., Drover, D., Ings, D. and McCurdy, P. 2012. Aquaculture Drifter Programme: Progress Update 2010. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Res. Doc. 2011/127. vi + 41 p. (http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/Publications/ResDocs-DocRech/2011/2011_127-eng.html)

Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)

Year(s)

2010 - 2014

Principal Investigator(s)

Gehan Mabrouk, Biologist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Newfoundland and Labrador Region
Email: gehan.mabrouk@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Team Member(s)

Andry Ratsimandresy, Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Newfoundland and Labrador Region

Danny Ings, Biologist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Newfoundland and Labrador Region

Dwight Drover, Technician, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, Newfoundland and Labrador Region

Fred Page, Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St. Andrews Biological Station, Maritimes Region

Randy Losier, Technician, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St. Andrews Biological Station, Maritimes Region

Mike Foreman, Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Pacific Region

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