Supporting science-based management
Knowledge generated through OTN’s work is used provincially, federally and internationally to help guide the management of valued aquatic species and the sustainable use of the ocean.
OTN studies have informed the proposed renewal of an MPA in Scotland.
Photograph by dominik schroder/unsplash
International Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
Franziska Broell, a former OTN PhD student (now postdoctoral fellow) and co-founder of Maritime bioLoggers, has been using her unique tags to conduct research on an endangered species (common skate) in the Firth of Lorn, Scotland, in collaboration with Marine Scotland Science. Data collected from elasmobranchs (shark, skate and ray species) tracked along the OTN-supported Firth array has provided direct input to the government on the status of these species within an MPA, and was critical in delivering a scientific basis for the renewal of this MPA in 2017.
Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS)
OTN researchers and their students regularly lead the development of documents that review scientific results of OTN studies. Given the volume of science generated from OTN Pacific salmon studies alone, incorporating findings into management action is a challenge for DFO managers. DFO’s CSAS places researchers at the forefront of the evidence-based decision-making process by way of consultation and advice documents, which summarize OTN findings and enable better knowledge transfer and use. OTN studies have contributed to the CSAS process, providing fundamental information needed to make critical fisheries-management decisions in Canada.
OTN researcher Nigel Hussey releases a tagged Greenland shark in the Canadian Arctic.
Photograph BY Stephen Fields
of Emerging Fisheries
In the 1960s, a small Greenland halibut fishery was developed by Inuit communities near Cumberland Sound, Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic. A management boundary was established to divide this ice-based fishery in the northern portion of the Sound from international fishing waters in the southern, deeper portion, as it was thought that distinct populations of Greenland halibut occupied each area. However, OTN telemetry research demonstrated direct connectivity between these two populations, with fish crossing the management boundary on a seasonal basis. In a changing Arctic climate, years of poor ice coverage had pushed the community fishery further north. As a direct result of OTN research, the management line was moved to encompass the whole of Cumberland Sound, thereby making it available to the community-led fishery year round. The new plan is proving more sustainable for both the Greenland halibut population and the community.