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TitleImplementing sustainable harvesting of Arctic Surf Clam in Atlantic Canada through the use of high-resolution seafloor habitat maps
DownloadDownload (whole publication)
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorSarty, M; Mosher, J; Gazzola, V; Brown, C J
SourceProgram and abstracts: 2017 GeoHab Conference, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada; by Todd, B JORCID logo; Brown, C J; Lacharité, M; Gazzola, V; McCormack, E; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8295, 2017 p. 105, Open Access logo Open Access
LinksGeoHab 2017
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Meeting2017 GeoHab: Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping; Dartmouth, NS; CA; May 1-4, 2017
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Program and abstracts: 2017 GeoHab Conference, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
File formatpdf
ProvinceEastern offshore region; Nova Scotia; Newfoundland and Labrador
NTS1; 10O; 10P; 11A; 11B; 11G; 11H; 11I; 11J
AreaAtlantic Ocean; Grand Banks; Banquereau Bank
Lat/Long WENS -60.0000 -46.0000 47.5000 43.0000
Subjectsmarine geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; environmental geology; geophysics; mapping techniques; oceanography; marine environments; conservation; marine organisms; marine ecology; resource management; biological communities; environmental studies; ecosystems; modelling; bathymetry; seafloor topography; geophysical surveys; acoustic surveys, marine; sonar surveys; side-scan sonar; benthos; Clams; Biology; Sustainable development; Fisheries; Fisheries management; Fisheries resources
ProgramOffshore Geoscience
Released2017 09 26
AbstractClearwater Seafoods, founded in Nova Scotia in 1976, has grown into one of the world's leading seafood companies. The company's core philosophy is based on sustainability and stewardship at sea and onshore, recognizing that healthy oceans are fundamental to business success. The development and implementation of enhanced seafloor maps of fishing grounds, depicting predicted habitat distributions of target species, is one of Clearwater's primary objectives within their Harvest Science operations. These onboard visualizations contribute to the development of corporate resource-management frameworks for (1) sustainable stock assessment for the spatial regions, (2) improved offshore harvest efficiencies for the target species, and (3) significant reductions of the fishery's footprint on the ocean floor.
To contribute towards achieving these objectives, Clearwater Harvest Science has been collaborating with the Nova Scotia Community College to develop seafloor habitat maps for its clam fishery using multibeam echo sounder (MBES) data collected in 2007 and 2008 on Banquereau Bank, and more recently in 2016 on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.
Here we demonstrate how MBES backscatter, bathymetry, and secondary-derived bathymetric layers (e.g. slope, curvature, etc.) have been used to model predictive habitat for Arctic Surf Clam (Mactromeris polynyma) - Clearwater's target fishery on the banks. Utilizing onboard visualization applications, Clearwater's Fishing Masters are able to target, with precise accuracy, the most preferred benthic areas of the banks.
Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) maps and images are being developed and continuously evaluated along with commercial catch data from the Clearwater Harvest Management database to demonstrate the credibility and validity of the maps and to measure the company's harvest efficiencies and subsequent performance measurement. SDM maps, along with backscatter and bathymetry information, have become important tools and are routinely used aboard Clearwater's clam fishing vessels to target fishing areas thus providing for sustainability of the ocean and resource, and the most efficient harvesting of quotas.
Although only in the early stages of the project, evidence from fishing performance over recent months have suggested that the use of this information can increase catch rates, reduce bottom contact of the fishing gear, and results in a significant increase in revenue from a fishing trip. For a quota-based fishery, this demonstrates the combined economic and environmental benefits these advanced seafloor habitat maps can offer.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The sixteenth annual GeoHab Conference was held this year (2017) at the Waterfront Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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