In 2020, we were the Pioneers of the First commercial fishing of ropeless systems in North America. We fished our snow crab in an area that was otherwise closed to protected NARW.
Canada snow crab fishermen are working to reduce rope in the water column, tested ropeless buoys , “smart” snow crab trap using whale release rope , electronic monitoring to find the pots, hydrophones on traps to hear whales, rope identification method in gear, whale rescue training for disentanglement, etc.
We are involved in numerous projects related to the NARW and the mitigation of interactions with snow crab fishing gears.
A Story of inspiration & Coexistence
Goal is to accomplish further experimentations and trialing of alternative gear and fishing methods during the 2021 fishing season to support and facilitate the implementation of some form of commercial fishery for the 2022 fishing season in areas closed to fishing due to the presence of NARW in the Southern Gulf of St-Lawrence.
Goal is to accomplish further experimentation and trialing to document and minimize the tensile strength needed in buoyed ropes to prosecute the snow crab fishery safely in the southern Gulf of St-Lawrence, including the utilization of weak ropes and Time Tension Line Cutters, under all probable loads and environmental conditions.
Goal is to produce high-quality acoustic recordings in a timely manner which will improve managers and fishers decision-making capabilities to mitigate vessels and whales encounters with snow crab fishing gear.
A limited, experimental autumn snow crab fishery in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence was successful enough that an expanded fall season is being studied as a way to prevent conflict with migrating NARW in the region.
On November 15 2020, 40 traps were deposited at four different locations in this area with permission from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. A scientific fishing license was issued to the Association des crabiers acadiens, in collaboration with the Association of Professional Crabiers Acadians.
Three DFO Science planes flying systematic surveys and clearing grids for management Surveys started April 25th As of November 1st: Twin Otter - 391 hours Cessna ZWF - 666 hours Cessna YOB - 345 hours 4 complete surveys of NW Gulf 10 surveys of the southern Gulf Broad scale survey of Scotian Shelf with highresolution coverage of critical habitats .
Project Leads: J.F. Gosselin, V. Harvey, J. Lawson, P. Goulet
All 2020 NARW imagery from Canadian Government assets are collected, organized, catalogued Expanded in-season collaboration with NEAq and NOAA-NEFSC to provide updated: IDs, No. of individuals observed, injury and incident reporting etc. Preliminary # of Ind. identified to date = 120 (NEAq to validate IDs and complete analysis)
Project Lead: S. Ratelle
Multispecies monitoring | Glider deployment to Emerald Basin
Project Leads: J. Lawson, H. Moors-Murphy, Y. Simard, J. Xu
6 buoys new SLGO and WhaleMap displays new artificial intelligence deep learning neural networks detector mid-May to November
Project Lead: Y. Simard
Integrated approach to assess entanglement risks Review and update all available fixed-gear fisheries data Developing a flexible analytical approach to quantify the scope of commercial fisheries and outlining assumptions for data-poor fisheries
Project Lead: D. Richard
Calanus biomass in the sGSL is monitored in June since 1982 on a 65 stations grid (Sorochan et al. 2019) • DFO systematic aerial surveys for NARW with full seasonal coverage since 2018 • Calanus distribution in June: potential for strong interannual variations (2018 vs 2019) • NARW mortalities : none in 2018, several in 2019 • Variations in ocean circulation is the key factor (freshwater, winds) • DFO’ Marine Mammal Sciences support a new project: • Development of an operational forecasting model of Calanus and NARW distribution in early summer in the Southern GSL .
Project Leads: S. Plourde and C. Johnson
Objective: increase understanding of impacts of shipping noise on NARW Health, behaviour and response studies: 2 DTAGs (acoustic suction tags) deployed on NARW Photogrammetry drone flights, blow and biopsy samples collected Noise model development Noise-budget estimation for critical habitats and Emerald Basin Vessel noise signature estimation using VLA data Noise model validations NARW acoustic analysis Analysis to determine spatial/temporal distribution in critical habitats and the Scotian Shelf Collaborating with the Meridian group to develop a neural network upcall detector Developed metrics for sound impacts on NARW .
Current projects (2020+) include: Update LFDCS library to better detect NARW under high noise conditions such as seismic surveys G&C-funded graduate project to create a soundscape model in Placentia Bay to investigate noise impacts and PAM detection ranges
Project Leads: A. Wright, J. Xu,
Objective: test whale detection technologies to inform the development of a realtime NARW detection system/network . Current projects include: G&C funding to eSONAR and Memorial University to develop near real-time PAM package + oceanographic profiling on a pop-up buoy system G&C funding Infrared Camera Detection System with WHOI Testing a profiling buoy with near real time detection capabilities
Project Leads: A. Vanderlaan, J. Lawson, and Y. Simard