Environmental Effects Monitoring Program Quarterly Report January-March 2023

This report provides a summary of monitoring activities and data analyses completed by FORCE during the first quarter of 2023. In addition, it also highlights fidings from international research efforts, previous data collection periods at the FORCE site, and additional research work that is being conducted by FORCE and its partners. This includes supporting fish tagging efforts with Acadia University and the Ocean Tracking Network, radar research projects, and subsea instrumentation platform deployments through the Fundy Advanced Sensor Technology (FAST) Porgram. Finally, the report presents details regarding future research and monitoring efforts at the FORCE test site. This includes work in support of the 2023 EEMP and the RAP program.

Key updates in this report include:

  • FORCE implemented a fall lobster survey in 2021 in partnership with the Fishermen and Scientists Research Society and with the help of a local lobster fisher. The survey revealed a "high" catchability rate (i.e., CPUE ≥ 2.4 kg/trap haul) - consistent with a prior baseline survey at the FORCE site in 2017 and comparable to available commercial landings.
  • Fish tagging commenced under the Risk Assessment Porgram in 2021 in partnership with Acadia University and the Mi'kmaw Conservation Group will continue in 2023, and will focus on alewife, American shad and Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon smolts. For 2023, FORCE and the Ocean Tracking Network are collaborating to merge their lines of acoustic receivers into a single array that will span the vast majority of Minas Passage, and increasing the chances of detecting tagged fish as they navigate through the area.