Determining the Community and Sub-Population Structure of West Coast Transient (Bigg’s) Killer Whales in the Northeastern Pacific

The transient killer whales that feed on other marine mammals in British Columbia waters (also known as Bigg’s killer whales) range from Alaska to California. However, relatively little is known about their life histories, including whether they belong to separate populations. We will determine the population structure of west coast transient killer whales (California to Alaska) based on photo id’s, locations of sightings, associations between individuals, and documented feeding behaviours.

SWASH (Shallow Water Autonomous Surveying Hovercraft) System

Common methods of surveying in very shallow water (

Data collection to support an oyster aquaculture development area

The Nova Scotia Municipality of Argyle is exploring the potential of establishing the province’s first shellfish Aquaculture Development Area (ADA) in Lobster Bay. If an ADA is approved, individual site and lease applications benefit from an expedited licensing process. Spatial marine planning is required for ADA approval and must consider oceanographic data, ecological data, and stakeholder interests. Data that exist are often housed in multiple platforms. Extensive collection, consolidation and assessment is required to identify data gaps.

Turbulence flow mapping and wave interactions in the tidal channels of Bay of Fundy

Tidal energy takes advantage of water movement due to tides. To extract this energy from places like the Bay of Fundy (NS), turbines similar to a wind turbine but smaller are installed directly under water, not needing a dam. To design the turbines, engineers need to know how the water moves. On the other hand, we need to know how extracting this energy affects the environment.

Industrial application of genomics derived biomarkers of salmon performance

The Atlantic salmon aquaculture industry is becoming a strategic economic sector for Canada. Aquaculture in Canada employs approximately 25,000 people with a total economic impact of over $5B. While farmed salmon is already Canada’s top aquaculture export, salmon aquaculture has significant capacity for growth in this country. Atlantic salmon farmed in sea cages on the Canadian coasts face multiple environmental stressors that can impair their growth performance and immune status.

TWN Cumulative Effects Monitoring Initiative: Ecosystem Modelling Framework

The general objective of the proposed activity is to increase the future productivity of Burrard Inlet and the contribution of seafood to the diet of Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) members in support of the TWN Cumulative Effects Monitoring Initiative.

Shipping Noise Characterization in Shallow Water Environment

Underwater acoustic propagation modeling was largely advanced by the world’s Navies from WWII until the early 2000’s. Growing evidence of the effects of sounds from human activities on marine life has made propagation modeling relevant to a much broader community including marine biologists, ecologists, regulators and environmental non-governmental organizations.

Salmon Early Marine Survival Research Program: Phase 2

Salmon are inarguably one of the most culturally, ecologically, and economically important fish in British Columbia, however, their stocks have been declining since the 1990’s. The Cohen Commission of Enquiry expert panel emphasized that juvenile mortality during the first months at sea was the most likely cause of fishery declines. This Mitacs project represents Phase 2 of a research initiative addressing the role of ocean conditions in the early marine survival of juvenile salmon.

Spatial mapping of turbulent characteristics of tidal flow and wakes in the Minas Passage Bay of Fundy

The strong tidal currents that make in-stream tidal energy possible, are also challenging to work in since they are also very turbulent. As the flow passes over the rough bottom and shoreline variations, eddies are generated over a wide range of scales. These eddies (i.e. turbulence) create fluctuating forces on tidal turbine blades and their support structures, degrading turbine performance and operating life. Understanding and predicting the levels of turbulent flows is an important component of the marine services that Luna Ocean provides to its clients.

Environmental productivity patterns of the Salish Sea: trends, impacts, projections

Pacific salmon are important from ecological, economic, social and cultural perspectives, but many species in the Salish Sea have seen drastic decrease in marine survival rate in recent decades, likely linked to reduced survival of the young stages of salmon due to a combination of environmental, food web changes, and human impacts. This activity will provide an ecosystem-level analysis of how the environmental productivity of the Salish Sea has changed in recent decades with focus on the implications this has had for salmon populations in the area.