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Research Document - 2011/127

Aquaculture Drifter Programme: Progress Update 2010

By A.W. Ratsimandresy, F. Page, G. Mabrouk, R. Losier, D. Drover, D. Ings, and P. McCurdy


The aquaculture industry in Newfoundland is currently expanding rapidly with an increasing number of finfish sites being developed. To conduct a preliminary investigation of the marine circulation along the south coast of Newfoundland, 14 deployments of a total of 68 CAST drifters were released and monitored at different locations in Bay d’Espoir and Fortune Bay in summer 2009 and 2010. The information was used to assess the circulation of the surface layer of the area . The influence of wind forcing, tidal exchange, and freshwater discharge on the surface water transport was estimated . Most of the drifters were at liberty for more than one semi-diurnal tidal cycle. The wind driven circulation may predominate over tidal mechanisms . During the experiments, the river discharge d id not show any clear effect on the surface movement of the water . All together, the average velocity of the drifters was between 0.10 and 0.25  m/s and the typical zones of influence ranged between 5 and 18  km over a period of 24  h .

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