Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

May 24, 2016 09:58 ET

Collaborative Research Project Tracks Ocean Currents

ST.GEORGE, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwired - May 24, 2016) - Students at Fundy High School in St. George are getting some hands on experience in aquatic science that will result in an increased understanding of ocean currents in the Bay of Fundy.

Through support from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries (NB DAAF) and the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, Fundy students have built 100 oceanographic data collectors, or drogues. The project was included as part of the industrial arts class where students used various tools and skills to build these drogues. Once the drogues are released, the students will also have the opportunity to track their progress via a software program.

The project received funding under DFO's Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program. The design was provided by DFO's St. Andrews Biological Station (SABS) and materials were provided by the NB DAAF through the Total Development Fund.

Each drogue has a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit that sends a signal to a satellite every five minutes. The signal is then delivered to a software program. The signal records the exact location of the drogue and tracks its movements, thus imparting vital information about ocean currents.

The 100 student-built drogues, along with an additional 100 built at SABS will be released at various times throughout the coming years. The data collected will allow scientists to improve circulation, drift and current models in and around aquaculture sites, allowing better science for management decisions in the bay areas of Southwest New Brunswick. It will also assist in the development of oil spill tracking in the area should one occur.

Quotes

"This is a great example of all levels of government, industry and community working together to provide increased information for aquaculture."

Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

"These drogues will supplement the data we're already collecting to get timely information on our currents, and we're so pleased that the students were able to gain hands on technical experience as part of their studies."

Karen Ludwig, Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest

"The data being collected in this unique partnership is very valuable to the aquaculture sector. Our government is pleased to have been able to contribute the materials for the Fundy High students to participate in this project."

Rick Doucet, New Brunswick Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries

"This project will give us valuable information about tidal currents and could potentially increase the productivity of certain growing areas by providing additional water parameter data that can help make decisions on the optimum fish densities at each farm, while protecting fish health and the health of the ecosystem."

Sue Farquharson, Executive Director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association

"We're very pleased to be able to give our students an engaging and meaningful project that they will remember and know that they were helping with applied research."

John Tanner, Fundy High School Principal

Internet: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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Contact Information

  • Communications, Maritimes Region
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    902-407-8439

    Vicky Deschenes, Communications
    Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries
    506-453-4066