Maurice Lamontagne Institute

Mont-Joli, Canada

Maurice Lamontagne Institute

Mont-Joli, Canada

The Maurice Lamontagne Institute is a marine science research institute located in Mont Joli, Quebec and is part of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans.Researchers at the institute have access to the following vessels:CCGS Calanus IICCGS Frederick G. CreedCCGS Martha L. BlackCCGS Alfred NeedlerCCGS HudsonCCGS Teleost Wikipedia.

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RIMOUSKI, QUÉBEC--(Marketwired - Dec. 20, 2016) - The Government of Canada has committed to making science the cornerstone of public policy. This is especially the case with regards to the management of the marine environment and marine resources and the protection of the health of our oceans. On behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Rémi Massé, Member of Parliament for Avignon-La Mitis-Matane-Matapédia, announced today in Rimouski that a $1.65 million dollar contract has been awarded to the Rimouski-based company Multi-Électronique to design and develop four automated oceanographic buoys. In addition to the usual surface parameters, the four new automated oceanographic buoys will independently collect temperature and salinity profiles without human intervention. They will also record a range of oceanographic surface observations and meteorological observations. This contract also includes an option for two additional buoys which could be produced for the Pacific Region. These new buoys will increase our ability to monitor the marine environment in real time. They will be deployed in spring 2017 in the Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence and in the Atlantic Ocean at sampling stations for Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Atlantic Zone Monitoring Program, which has been operating since 1998. "Our government is committed to intensifying scientific research and marine environment monitoring activities, in order to ensure sound management of the St. Lawrence ecosystem, with a view to conserving resources and protecting the marine environment. We are taking concrete action to honour our commitment." The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard "Today's announcement demonstrates our Government's commitment to investing in the health and safety of our marine environments. The automated oceanographic buoys will help collect important data that will support the Atlantic Zone Monitoring Program and will provide insight into the regions' marine ecosystem for years to come." The Honourable Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement "The oceanographic buoy system was designed and developed by a scientific team from Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Maurice Lamontagne Institute, in partnership with the firm Multi-Électronique. I firmly believe in our partner's important role in allowing our scientific teams to monitor, describe and forecast observed changes in the oceanographic conditions in the St. Lawrence ecosystem and in the Atlantic Ocean."

Variations in life history traits determining reproductive potential of fish stocks are often large enough to invalidate the use of spawning stock biomass (SSB) as an unbiased index of reproductive potential. In northern Gulf of St. Lawrence cod (Gadus morhua), observed annual total egg production (TEP) differed from those estimated based on constant life history traits (i.e. direct proportionality between SSB and TEP). Variability observed in age structure, sex ratio, growth, maturity, and fecundity associated with environmental conditions, exploitation and SSB level clearly demonstrate the highly dynamic nature of TEP and complex interactions between environment, fishing and SSB. The sensitivity of reproductive rate to independent changes of each life history trait was estimated using demographic models. Natural mortality (M) had a larger influence on reproductive rate than variations in growth, maturation and fecundity. Correlations between age structure, growth, reproductive traits, and M demonstrated the importance of including M as a dynamic parameter in the estimation of TEP. TEP should be preferred to SSB as a measure of reproductive potential as, besides providing a means of estimating TEP, the monitoring of life history traits required to estimate TEP will also enable improved tracking of changes in stock productivity and resiliency. © 2012.

In this study, a new method of storm surge modeling is proposed. This method is orders of magnitude faster than the traditional method within the linear dynamics framework. The tremendous enhancement of the computational efficiency results from the use of a pre-calculated all-source Green’s function (ASGF), which connects a point of interest (POI) to the rest of the world ocean. Once the ASGF has been pre-calculated, it can be repeatedly used to quickly produce a time series of a storm surge at the POI. Using the ASGF, storm surge modeling can be simplified as its convolution with an atmospheric forcing field. If the ASGF is prepared with the global ocean as the model domain, the output of the convolution is free of the effects of artificial open-water boundary conditions. Being the first part of this study, this paper presents mathematical derivations from the linearized and depth-averaged shallow-water equations to the ASGF convolution, establishes various auxiliary concepts that will be useful throughout the study, and interprets the meaning of the ASGF from different perspectives. This paves the way for the ASGF convolution to be further developed as a data-assimilative regression model in part II. Five Appendixes provide additional details about the algorithm and the MATLAB functions. © 2015, The Author(s).

Tucker A.,Brunel University | Duplisea D.,Maurice Lamontagne Institute
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2012

There has been a huge effort in the advancement of analytical techniques for molecular biological data over the past decade. This has led to many novel algorithms that are specialized to deal with data associated with biological phenomena, such as gene expression and protein interactions. In contrast, ecological data analysis has remained focused to some degree on off-the-shelf statistical techniques though this is starting to change with the adoption of state-of-the-art methods, where few assumptions can be made about the data and a more explorative approach is required, for example, through the use of Bayesian networks. In this paper, some novel bioinformatics tools for microarray data are discussed along with their 'crossover potential' with an application to fisheries data. In particular, a focus is made on the development of models that identify functionally equivalent species in different fish communities with the aim of predicting functional collapse. © 2011 The Royal Society.

This study first validates the ASGS algorithm developed in part I with an analytical solution in a simplified dynamical system and with a real storm surge event. It then assesses the computational efficiency by the ASGF method compared to the traditional method. By analyzing a realistic case, the ASGF method is shown to be three orders of magnitude more computationally efficient than the traditional method. Using the singular value decomposition (SVD) and the fast Fourier transform and its inverse (FFT/IFFT), this study further demonstrates how to compress atmospheric forcing data and how to cast the ASGF convolution as a simple and efficient regression model for data assimilation. When tested with the real storm surge event, the output from the regression model can account for 98 % of the observed variance. © 2015, The Author(s).

Frechette M.,Maurice Lamontagne Institute
Journal of Sea Research | Year: 2012

Future mussel suspension-culture methods may increasingly bypass standard population density adjustment on culture gear. This likely to exacerbate mussel fall-off. The potential extent of mussel fall-off is unknown. Here I use Dynamic Energy Budget theory and self-thinning theory to model the contribution of mussel fall-off to the total input of organic matter to the bottom. I focus on mussel populations grown on collector ropes and undergoing space-regulated self-thinning. Over a complete growth cycle, fall-off of mussel biomass was three times as high as the quantity harvested and accounted for 59% of total input of organic matter to the bottom. Biomass fall-off with collectors was 6-30 fold higher than with sleeving methods, as estimated from the literature. The relative contribution of mussel fall-off increased in a step-like fashion with initial population density, indicating that either mussels or biodeposits may dominate the organic input to the bottom, unless year-to-year variability in spat abundance is very high. The relative contribution of mussel fall-off did not increase appreciably with the intensity of second-set, but total mussel fall-off did. Assessment of each input type to the bottom is required for forecasting the consequences of a shift in culture methods, as they have different, spatially structured, effects on benthic environments. © 2011.

Claireaux G.,University of Western Brittany | Chabot D.,Maurice Lamontagne Institute
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2016

The problem of understanding the effect of the environment on fish activities and performance, in any generalized way, remains intractable. Solving this issue is, however, a key to addressing contemporary environmental concerns. As suggested 20 years ago by W. H. Neill, the authors returned to the drawing board, using as a background the conceptual scheme initially proposed by F. E. J. Fry. They revisited the effect of ambient oxygen availability upon fish metabolism and clarified the definitions of limiting, critical and incipient lethal oxygen (ILO) levels. The concepts of oxy-conformer and oxy-regulator are revisited, and P. W. Hochachka's idea of scope for survival is explored. Finally, how the cardiovascular system contributes to the capacity of fishes to respond to the reduced oxygen availability is considered. Various hands-on recommendations and software (R scripts) are provided for researchers interested in investigating these concepts. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

Lambert Y.,Maurice Lamontagne Institute
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2011

Time series of life history traits determining the reproductive potential and productivity of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence (nGSL) were obtained for the period covering the collapse and failure of the stock to recover. Decreasing trends in these traits were observed under unfavourable oceanographic conditions, with lowest values reached in the early 1990s. These changes had a negative impact on reproductive rate and instantaneous rate (r) of population growth. Estimates of r used as a proxy of stock productivity were negative when the stock collapsed, indicating that the biomass would have decreased even without fishing. Population abundance projections for the recent period suggest a potential increase in population size of 7.3% per year, with a doubling time of 10.5 years in the absence of exploitation and a near 0% rate with current fishing mortality, indicating that present harvesting does not allow any rebuilding of the stock. Given the similarities in environmental conditions and key life history traits, the situation in the nGSL might reflect the state of many northwest Atlantic cod stocks.

News Article | December 16, 2016

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament (Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine), today announced that the Exploramer museum is receiving funding of $121,809 for its Mysteries under the Waves exhibition. Minister Lebouthillier made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. This funding, provided by the Government of Canada through the Access to Heritage component of the Museums Assistance Program, will allow the organization to create this travelling exhibition and present it from June to October 2017. Mysteries under the Waves will then travel to a number of other Canadian museums. "The Gulf of St. Lawrence, its islands, its marine biology and its ecosystem are central to the lives of thousands of Canadians. On the eve of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Government of Canada is proud to support this scientific exhibition, which highlights the unique character of this majestic and symbolic body of water." "With Mysteries under the Waves, visitors will discover the enigmatic world of the St. Lawrence and all its treasures. This travelling exhibition will undoubtedly raise the profile of Gaspésie and eastern Quebec across the country, thanks to Exploramer's museum expertise and the work of researchers from the Institut des Sciences de la mer at the Université du Québec à Rimouski, the Maurice Lamontagne Institute, the Centre de recherche sur les biotechnologies marines and the Merinov organization." -The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament (Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine) "I would like to thank ministers Mélanie Joly and Diane Lebouthillier for this announcement, which is extremely important for Exploramer. With Mysteries under the Waves, Exploramer has added a new element to its capabilities: the preparation and coordination of travelling exhibitions. Thanks to this funding, Exploramer's expertise in scientific museology, the work of eastern Quebec researchers and our beloved St. Lawrence River will be recognized in several Canadian museums." Follow us on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Flickr.

News Article | February 15, 2017

A large research synthesis, published in one of the world’s most influential scientific journals, has detected a decline in the amount of dissolved oxygen in oceans around the world — a long-predicted result of climate change that could have severe consequences for marine organisms if it continues. The paper, published Wednesday in the journal Nature by oceanographer Sunke Schmidtko and two colleagues from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, found a decline of more than 2 percent in ocean oxygen content worldwide between 1960 and 2010. The loss, however, showed up in some ocean basins more than others. The largest overall volume of oxygen was lost in the largest ocean — the Pacific — but as a percentage, the decline was sharpest in the Arctic Ocean, a region facing Earth’s most stark climate change. The loss of ocean oxygen “has been assumed from models, and there have been lots of regional analysis that have shown local decline, but it has never been shown on the global scale, and never for the deep ocean,” said Schmidtko, who conducted the research with Lothar Stramma and Martin Visbeck, also of GEOMAR. Ocean oxygen is vital to marine organisms, but also very delicate — unlike in the atmosphere, where gases mix together thoroughly, in the ocean that is far harder to accomplish, Schmidtko explained. Moreover, he added, just 1 percent of all the Earth’s available oxygen mixes into the ocean; the vast majority remains in the air. Climate change models predict the oceans will lose oxygen because of several factors. Most obvious is simply that warmer water holds less dissolved gases, including oxygen. “It’s the same reason we keep our sparkling drinks pretty cold,” Schmidtko said. But another factor is the growing stratification of ocean waters. Oxygen enters the ocean at its surface, from the atmosphere and from the photosynthetic activity of marine microorganisms. But as that upper layer warms up, the oxygen-rich waters are less likely to mix down into cooler layers of the ocean because the warm waters are less dense and do not sink as readily. “When the upper ocean warms, less water gets down deep, and so therefore, the oxygen supply to the deep ocean is shut down or significantly reduced,” Schmidtko said. The new study represents a synthesis of literally “millions” of separate ocean measurements over time, according to GEOMAR. The authors then used interpolation techniques for areas of the ocean where they lacked measurements. The resulting study attributes less than 15 percent of the total oxygen loss to sheer warmer temperatures, which create less solubility. The rest was attributed to other factors, such as a lack of mixing. Matthew Long, an oceanographer from the National Center for Atmospheric Research who has published on ocean oxygen loss, said he considers the new results “robust” and a “major advance in synthesizing observations to examine oxygen trends on a global scale.” Long was not involved in the current work, but his research had previously demonstrated that ocean oxygen loss was expected to occur and that it should soon be possible to demonstrate that in the real world through measurements, despite the complexities involved in studying the global ocean and deducing trends about it. That’s just what the new study has done. “Natural variations have obscured our ability to definitively detect this signal in observations,” Long said in an email. “In this study, however, Schmidtko et al. synthesize all available observations to show a global-scale decline in oxygen that conforms to the patterns we expect from human-driven climate warming. They do not make a definitive attribution statement, but the data are consistent with and strongly suggestive of human-driven warming as a root cause of the oxygen decline. “It is alarming to see this signal begin to emerge clearly in the observational data,” he added. “Schmidtko and colleagues’ findings should ring yet more alarm bells about the consequences of global warming,” added Denis Gilbert, a researcher with the Maurice Lamontagne Institute at Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Quebec, in an accompanying commentary on the study also published in Nature. Because oxygen in the global ocean is not evenly distributed, the 2 percent overall decline means there is a much larger decline in some areas of the ocean than others. Moreover, the ocean already contains so-called oxygen minimum zones, generally found in the middle depths. The great fear is that their expansion upward, into habitats where fish and other organism thrive, will reduce the available habitat for marine organisms. In shallower waters, meanwhile, the development of ocean “hypoxic” areas, or so-called “dead zones,” may also be influenced in part by declining oxygen content overall. On top of all of that, declining ocean oxygen can also worsen global warming in a feedback loop. In or near low oxygen areas of the oceans, microorganisms tend to produce nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, Gilbert writes. Thus the new study “implies that production rates and efflux to the atmosphere of nitrous oxide … will probably have increased.” The new study underscores once again that some of the most profound consequences of climate change are occurring in the oceans, rather than on land. In recent years, incursions of warm ocean water have caused large die-offs of coral reefs, and in some cases, kelp forests as well. Meanwhile, warmer oceans have also begun to destabilize glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica, and as they melt, these glaciers freshen the ocean waters and potentially change the nature of their circulation. When it comes to ocean deoxygenation, as climate change continues, this trend should also increase — studies suggest a loss of up to 7 percent of the ocean’s oxygen by 2100. At the end of the current paper, the researchers are blunt about the consequences of a continuing loss of oceanic oxygen. “Far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems and fisheries can be expected,” they write.

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