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C$2.6 Million Investment to Support World-Class Fisheries Science

07 May 2015

CANADA - Newfoundland and Labrador's Budget 2015 will provide C$2.6 million to support world-class fisheries science at the Marine Institute's Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER).

Each year since 2010, much of this research has taken place aboard the RV Celtic Explorer.

Paul Davis, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, toured the vessel joined by Vaughn Granter, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and representatives from the Marine Institute.

"Newfoundland and Labrador is the only province in the country to solely fund its own offshore fisheries research. The Celtic Explorer is one of the most advanced fisheries research vessels in the world and has proven invaluable in the study of fisheries ecosystems off our province's coasts. The relationship between leading-edge science and long-term success in resource-based industries is clear. Our government continues to invest in science that will inform future decision-making and support the future sustainability of the fishery," said Mr Davis.

Since 2010, the Provincial Government has provided more than C$15 million to CFER to support the long-term sustainability of provincial fisheries resources. CFER's research focuses on a number of areas including:

  • Surveys
  • Stock assessments and sustainable fisheries
  • Ecosystems structure and change
  • Climate and fisheries influences
  • Species biology, ecology and behaviour

"Prosperity and sustainability require that decisions and activities in our fisheries are based on sound evidence and science and much of this research starts right here with the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research and this world-class research vessel. Given the recently observed ecosystem changes and resurgence of the northern cod stock, the importance of the scientific survey work that will be undertaken this year can hardly be overstated," said Mr Grant.

The RV Celtic Explorer is fitted with the latest electronics and scientific equipment to complete this work including; ocean mapping technologies, dry and wet laboratory spaces, remote operated vehicle capability, and echo sounders for acoustic surveying. The vessel, owned by the Irish Marine Institute, has been chartered for one month in each of the past five years to support CFER's fisheries science activities.

"The fishing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador is facing many challenges and our role is to make a significant contribution to maintaining a sustainable and economically viable fishing industry. Our research, which has had a major impact to date, continues today as the team joins the RV Celtic Explorer for the next fisheries survey focused on northern cod and other species off our coast," said Glenn Blackwood, Vice-President of Memorial University (Marine Institute).

You can view CFER's five year progress report, here

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