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Return of Groundfish in the Estuary and Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence

Recent stock assessments show a resurgence of groundfish in the Estuary and Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence, most notably, redfish. Via the Partnership Fund, Fisheries and Oceans provided $563,500 over two years to a research team under the lead of Dr. Céline Audet at the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR). Their goal is to learn more about the composition of the resurging groundfish resources and to understand potential impacts to commercially exploited cold-water crustaceans in the area. This rapid ecosystem shift may result in socio-economic changes to fishing communities in five provinces. Innovative methods, such as environmental DNA, will be used to gather population data. The researchers will study redfish feeding dynamics and their predation impacts on the food web. The researchers will also identify mechanisms for integrating the perceptions of fish harvesters and processors on the socio-economic impacts of reopening the redfish fishery. Results will inform stock assessments, improve our understanding of factors that regulate the dynamic fisheries resources, and build understanding to assist fishers to prepare and adapt to the changes in the area. Moreover, this project will be completed through student theses, thus facilitating the training of qualified personnel.

Project Number: QC2016.11
Year(s): 2017, 2018, 2019
Partner: University of Quebec at Rimouski
Principal Investigator: Dr. Céline Audet
Eco-region: Atlantic

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