Fisheries and Aquaculture; July 25, 2012: In Newfoundland and Labrador, it has been estimated that eight per cent of snow crab traps are lost at sea annually. The Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation is undertaking a project, with $11,938 in financial support from the Provincial Government, to develop a technique to remotely detect lost pots using side scan sonar.
“Ensuring minimal negative impact on our ocean ecosystem from the fishery is a key priority for our government,” said the Honourable Darin King, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. “In order to deliver on this commitment, we have allocated funding in areas of innovation, research and development. It is projects like this new initiative, using innovative technology, that will help harvesters continue their fishing with minimal loss and more profit, while protecting the ocean at the same time.”
The side scan sonar will create an image of the seafloor and is designed to look sideways and at a downward angle from both sides of a towed unit, called a towfish. The objects and the seafloor reflect sound waves back to the unit and from this information, an image is produced. This type of technology allows for large areas to be mapped quickly and easily.
“This is a project that will have great benefits for the province’s fishing industry,” said Robert Verge, Managing Director of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation. “We thank the Provincial Government for the funding to make this project happen. It will go a long way to support minimizing the loss of expensive gear and equipment used for fishing.”
The project will be carried out in Conception Bay this summer using a Marine Institute research vessel for two days of at-sea testing, and will be done in cooperation with the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union.
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Media contacts: Bradley Power, Director of Communications, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, 709-729-3733, 699-5707, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cathie Horan, Executive Assistant, Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, 709-778-0515