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Examining Commercial Shipping Activities as an Environmental Stressor

In 2016, Fisheries and Oceans Canada provided $105,110 from the Partnership Fund to scientists at Dalhousie University. Their research aimed at minimizing the transfer of aquatic invasive species through ballast water. This requires data on ship traffic patterns and ballast water history. There is a pressing need for current data given the onset of new ballast water treatment regulations, the emergence of biofouling as an important ship vector, and the need for environmental impact reviews for Arctic resource development. Given the backlog of data yet to be entered into the Canadian Ballast Water Database, this partnership aims to:

  • develop an automated method for data entry to address the data backlog;
  • integrate current Canadian ballast water data with current global ship transit data (2013–17); and
  • conduct big data analysis aligned with Fisheries and Oceans Canada research related to aquatic invasive species, climate change adaptation, mammal strikes, ocean noise, oil spills, marine protected areas, and other issues for which shipping activity is an environmental stressor.

Project Number: CA2016.13
Year: 2016
Partner: Dalhousie University, Centre for Big Data Analytics
Principal Investigator(s): Stan Matwin
Eco-region: National

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