(Fisheries and Aquaculture, May 23, 2014) Having completed annual research initiatives for the Fisheries and Marine Institute’s Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research, the RV Celtic Explorer was the site of an educational tour as 12 provincial high school students, and students from the Marine Institute’s Marine Environmental Program got a first hand glimpse into the workings of a research vessel. They also had the opportunity to meet with the Honorable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

“I was very pleased to see these young people exposed to the world-class fisheries science. Newfoundland and Larador is the only province in Canada that solely funds offshore fisheries research. It is my hope that these students not only appreciate the scientific and economic value of researching our province’s fish resources and marine environments, but also consider how they might apply their immense talents in the field of research,” said Minister Hutchings.

Under the direction of Dr. George Rose, Director of the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research, the RV Celtic Explorer continued to advance survey work from previous years, revealed many insights into the province’s changing ocean environment, including increasing evidence of the resurging cod stocks.

Dr. Rose said that,“In our work this year aboard the vessel we produced another acoustic-trawl survey of spawning northern cod. This survey will have a significant influence on the current science on this iconic fish stock.”

Also on hand for the ceremony was Glenn Blackwood, Memorial University Vice-President for the Marine Institute “At the Marine Institute we actively seek opportunities to engage young people in ways that promote an appreciation for the importance of marine environments and related career opportunities. This tour, aboard this remarkable vessel, with members of the scientific team on hand,  was another memorable way to do that,” he said.

The vessel is the most sophisticated purpose-built vessel ever used for fisheries science research in the province. It features multi-beam sonar capability for ocean mapping and acoustic surveying, remote operated vehicle capability, a wet and dry laboratory, and accommodations for up to 18 scientists, technicians and students.

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Media contacts:
Jason Card
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
709-729-3733, 699-0470