"A decade-long warming trend in the Gulf of St. Lawrence continued in 2020 with deep waters reaching record highs, according to ocean climate data released Tuesday by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Water temperatures at depths of 200, 250 and 300 metres were higher than any measured in the Gulf since records started in 1915, hitting highs of 5.7 C, 6.6 C and 6.8 C.
All were well above the normal variations.
"It is scary to me because we're completely outside of the known envelope," Peter Galbraith, a longtime federal research scientist, said in an interview.
Via CBC NS
"The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has invested $1.7 million to fund an artificial reef project in Miramichi Bay.
Two organizations, Anqotum Resource Management and Homarus Inc., have partnered in the project to help restore coastal habitat along New Brunswick's eastern shore.
Artificial reefs are concrete blocks designed with openings at the bottom to provide shelter for species found on the ocean floor, like lobsters, mussels and rock crabs.
"It essentially allows them to grow up during the phase where they are most at risk of being eaten," DFO Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said."
via CBC NB
"There is a high probability that Atlantic cod will be locally extinct in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence by mid-century — even with no commercial fishing, according to a new report.
"Since the late '90s none of the other hypotheses really had support except for the possibility the high natural mortality is due to predation by grey seals," says Swain.
The Gulf grey seal population grew to 100,000 in 2014 from about 8,000 in 1960. In summer, they gather everywhere from Nova Scotia's Pictou Island to the Magdalen Islands of Quebec.
"In these projections, if we assume natural mortality were to stay where it is now and there was no fishing, then cod would be gone by middle of the century," he says."
via CBC NS
"For the first time in 4½ years, a healthy adult Atlantic whitefish has been discovered in its lone refuge outside Bridgewater, N.S.
The critically endangered relative of the Atlantic salmon — a 33-centimetre female — was found in a fish trap on Dec. 7, ending a worrisome drought.
No adults had been seen alive since the arrival of chain pickerel, a voracious invasive species that has become established in two of the three lakes that make up the Petite Riviere watershed — the only place on the planet where the Atlantic whitefish survives."
"To Canadian fisheries scientist Luc Comeau, the humble blue mussel is more than a bivalve — it's a bio sentinel.
If something is strange in the environment, they will behave strangely," says Comeau, a scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Comeau is part of an international effort that is using sophisticated sensors to convert a mussel's distinctive behaviour when exposed to stressors into an early detector of toxic algae.
"DFO's interest in this is having an early warning system, having sentinels out at sea that could monitor continuously the water quality. So these mussels that are connected are like canaries in mines," he says."
This article also features long-time ACCESS member Dr. Jon Grant.
"Parks Canada is working to refortify the Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton against assaults from the sea.
Work has started to build up the Quay Wall, which separates the reconstructed site from Louisbourg harbour.
"We know that since the 18th century sea levels have risen about a metre," Ebert said. "We also know that, due to climate change, that we've got both more storms but also more intense storms."'
"Green crabs from Nova Scotia are the same species as their cousins that already inhabit Maine waters, but are ornerier and angrier, threatening to accelerate harm to the coastal ecosystem by gobbling up soft-shell clams and destroying native eelgrass, a researcher said.
The new crab variant that originated in northern Europe is hardier and adapted to colder water than the more docile crab, which originally came from southern Europe.
Green crabs, even the docile ones, are considered a scourge that can devour soft-shell and juvenile clams. They can destroy eelgrass that provides a hiding place for juvenile sea creatures."
"Oceanographer Christopher Taggart and his team have been mapping areas of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where the whales are most likely follow their stomachs to food.
"We're trying to figure out what is driving the places where they go, and when they go there, and it's all to do with the oceanography and their food," Taggart said Friday at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, where Ottawa announced it would continue to fund his work.
"In 2016 that pattern became similar, in 2017 it was similar again, in 2018 it's very similar again," he said.
"So now there are abilities to reroute traffic, slow down traffic, change the fishing effort in certain locations — at certain times so to reduce the likelihood of vessel strikes and and reduce the likelihood of entanglement."'
"The new conservation area — a 52-hectare (128-acre) piece of land adjacent to Blooming Point beach — holds within it Acadian forest, freshwater wetland, salt marsh and dunes.
The MacGillivray family of Blooming Point donated a portion of the project as part of the Government of Canada's Ecological Gifts Program.
The piece of land is also "an internationally recognized Important Bird Area," the NCC said in the release."
Via CBC PEI
Saint Mary's University in Halifax announced today that it will get $1.8 million in federal funds to restore 75 hectares of marshes around the Bay of Fundy.
Project leader Danika van Proosdij says the marshes will create more coastal habitat for marine life, and they will provide a new line of defence against flooding and erosion."