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Blog: In the (Coastal) Zone

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A little lepto…

It's the end of a long and dreary winter, and all you want are the warm rays and lapping waves of a southern vacation. So you book a flight to Bermuda, and you board a sailboat charter, tacking east toward the open Atlantic. When the wind drops, the skipper calls "snorkel time." You don the gear, and as you tumble over the rail, someone says, "Watch out for the leptos."



Homer’s odyssey – interview with a lobster

This is your marine biology reporter at the home of the famous New Brunswick poet and story-teller Homer. We all know of his many gastronomic and literary achievements, but how he started in the business has seldom been revealed.



Aquatic species monitoring using eDNA: ecological detective work

Aquatic species do not always need to be seen to be detected. This is because all organisms, including whales, fish and lobsters, release DNA into their environment by shedding cells and other biological material. This trail of DNA is known as environmental DNA, or eDNA, and species can be identified from their unique DNA signature.



The lobster fishery: resource management that is working according to plan

As mentioned in my previous blog, lobster, especially in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, have reached unprecedented catch numbers. And they seem to be increasing despite a very high fishing intensity. So the obvious question is: why are lobster numbers going up instead of being driven to low levels?



The Eastern Canadian oyster: economy booster, sustainability driver and (possible) aphrodisiac

Driving slowly down Hurd’s Point Road in Western Prince Edward Island shortly after sunrise, the horizon is dotted by small dories manned by fishers hunched over their long oyster tongs, probing the seafloor below for the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica).



Trawling the seafloor: the Northumberland Strait multi-species survey

What lives on the seafloor in Northumberland Strait? Driving along the coast in New Brunswick, P.E.I. or Nova Scotia, it is clear this area is prime lobster habitat: it sustains a prosperous lobster fishery. But what other creatures swim or crawl along the depths of this waterway?



Coral & Sponge Conservation Strategy for Eastern Canada

The advent of cutting-edge technologies such as remotely operated underwater vehicles allow us to explore coral and sponge communities previously out of reach. Although recent research has significantly contributed to our understanding and appreciation of corals and sponges, there is still a great deal to learn about the distribution, diversity, reproduction and resilience of these animals.



The sea sponge: a complicated yet simple animal

Yes, sea sponges are considered animals not plants. But they grow, reproduce and survive much as plants do. They have no central nervous system, digestive system or circulatory system – and no organs!



Coral reefs: rainforests of the sea

Coral reefs – often called “rainforests of the sea” – are the most diverse underwater ecosystems. And since I didn’t really understand what a coral was when I started writing this, I’m going to guess some of you don’t either.



Lobster: what you don’t know

I recently went on a cruise in the Caribbean and was asked “What do you do for a living?” I responded that I am a marine biologist who works with lobsters. This puzzled the questioner, who thought lobsters just sort of sat there on the bottom of the ocean and didn’t do much of anything until we caught them.



The annual Atlantic herring survey

Atlantic herring is one of the most abundant species of marine fish in the world. It is a food source for many animals — birds, seals, whales, tuna and other fish — and is also fished for human consumption.



Sometimes it is rocket science!

There are more than 2.5 million moving parts in the space shuttle Columbia. Each part has to move with great precision and timing. It is unlikely any of us understand exactly how the 2.5 million parts of the space shuttle all work together to get to space and back. We are not rocket scientists.



Ocean Science Careers

At the Fisheries and Oceans’ Gulf Fisheries Centre, where the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre is located, there are many scientists who play an important part in studying the estuarial and coastal waters, their habitats and species. Today, we introduce you to three of those people.



Eelgrass: The Underwater Lawn

As you are walking on the beach, you may come across many things; clam shells, hermit crabs, moon snails, and lots of washed up vegetation. So, let`s talk marine plants.



Critters at the Beach

As you wander the beaches of Atlantic Canada, you will find many interesting species of fish and shellfish. Here are just 5 examples of what you’ll see if you look beneath the sand and mud.



Blowing Bubbles for Science

Scientists have many tools at their disposal to gather information. When working with marine animals, a lot of data can be gathered using fishing gear and remote sensing equipment such as cameras. But sometimes you have to get wet to get what you need. Scuba diving is one of the best ways to get up close and personal with aquatic animals in their own habitat.



Right whales, wrong place and time

Historically, North Atlantic right whales (NARWs) travelled north in the spring each year. They'd leave the southern coast of the U.S. to summer off the northeast U.S. coast and in Atlantic Canada.



Sharing our science

How does a lobster become big enough for a person to eat? How do sunlight and depth affect marine plants and animals? These are the types of questions a scientist would ask.



Ocean Pollution: What you can do to help

Plastic bags kill over 100,000 sea turtles, whales, seals and other marine animals every year, according to Ocean Crusaders. So what’s the first thing you can do to reduce ocean pollution and save marine life?



Welcome to our new centre

Hello and welcome to the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre.



Canadians and science literacy

More than half of all Canadians lack an understanding of basic scientific concepts needed to make sense of major public debates on scientific issues. Yet, they’re among the most science literate people in the world.



Born to be wild?

Oyster growers and fishers from Prince Edward Island have given the market a world-renowned product.



If you could be… What marine creature would you be and why?

Recently, for an event involving middle-school children, we asked some of our Fisheries and Oceans scientists to introduce themselves to the students and talk about their work. To make it easier, we provided them with some simple questions to answer. To make it fun, we included this question: If you could be any marine creature, what would you be? And why?


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