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Terms of Reference

State of knowledge of the oceanography and water exchange on the South coast of Newfoundland to support the development of Bay Management Areas for Finfish Aquaculture

Regional Peer Review - Newfoundland and Labrador

March 25-26, 2015
St. John’s, NL

Chairperson: Ben Davis, Aquatic Resources, Science Branch, NL Region


The expansion of aquaculture operations in the Coast of Bays, an area of the south coast of Newfoundland, presents a challenge to departments and agencies responsible for regulating the industry. Regulation requires a good understanding of the environment where the aquaculture takes place. The Coast of Bays is a harsh environment with cold water temperature, strong stratification and potential hypoxic conditions within salmonid cages. The area is also regularly exposed to severe storms. The limited oceanographic knowledge of this area has precluded the development of comprehensive management strategies to support the sustainable development of aquaculture in Newfoundland.

Research efforts have been undertaken by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador Region, to carry out coastal oceanographic studies in the Coast of Bays area in order to help in the development of scientifically-based Bay Management Areas (BMAs) which support optimal fish health management. The studies consisted of the collection of in-situ oceanographic data and the development of a coastal water circulation model (i.e., Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model) which will help understand the physics of the ocean in the area and map potential zones of influence associated with aquaculture activities.

DFO-Aquaculture Management – and other sectors – can use this information to quantify, model, and mitigate the interactions among aquaculture operations and the environment. The information is also expected to serve as a knowledge base for regulatory decisions and procedures associated with site selection and licensing, production planning, and for sustainable site management of the industry.


The Regional Peer Review meeting will review the characterization of the oceanographic conditions and zones of influence associated with aquaculture activities in the Coast of Bays area. The information and advice will describe the physical environment based on the current state of knowledge as well as provide an initial understanding of the potential exchange of water between zones where aquaculture activities take place and will support the development of BMAs.

Specific objectives include an evaluation, analysis, and update of the information available, including the identification of knowledge gaps, as described below:

Expected Publications



Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

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