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Satellite Tagging Project for Atlantic Cod Receives More Funding

25 October 2012

CANADA - Through a C$50,000 investment under the Provincial Government’s Fisheries Research Grant Programme, researchers at the Marine Institute's Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research will continue a satellite-tagging project to gain further valuable insight into Atlantic Cod. The research, coordinated by Dr George Rose, will continue this fall in the Bonavista Corridor.

“Dr Rose and his team of scientists at the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research have successfully developed a method to tag and track cod by satellite off the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Derrick Dalley, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

“Due to the success of the project aboard the RV Celtic Explorer this year, our government is pleased to support this initiative for a second phase. The success of this experiment thus far and its potential to unravel some of the distribution and migration mysteries about Atlantic Cod is a sound investment in the future of our groundfish industry as it will contribute to improved management of the various cod stocks found off our coast.”

Satellite tags store latitude and longitude, depth and temperature data for one year or more, measured each hour, then release themselves from the fish and transmit their data via satellite back to a research station. Each tag costs approximately $4,000, which includes the data reception from the satellite and the initial processing.

The funding provided in 2010 was used to purchase approximately 14 such satellite tags and to develop the method in which they would be used. The project was completed during the RV Celtic Explorer survey in the spring of 2012. The funding announced today will provide for the purchase of 10 to 12 more satellite tags and the data reception costs. Dr. Rose and his team will deploy the tags during the spring and summer of 2013 aboard the RV Celtic Explorer and the RV Gecho II.

“Satellite tags are a new technology that has become an invaluable tool for researchers in studying the behavior and inshore/offshore migration patterns of fish species such as Atlantic cod,” said Tom Brown, Administrative Director, Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research. “We welcome the opportunity to expand our satellite tagging project allowing us to gather even more data about Atlantic cod and the ecosystem in which it lives.”

Budget 2012: People and Prosperity included C$600,000 for fisheries science and research under the Fisheries Research Grant Program. This funding is in addition to the $3.8 million for the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research which was announced on June 4, 2012 aboard the provincially-chartered research vessel RV Celtic Explorer.

More information on the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research can be found at www.mi.mun.ca/centre-for-fisheries-ecosystems-research/ .

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