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Assisting Fisheries Management by Integration of Data from Non-Specialized Assets, Ferries, Citizens

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    Maycira Costa University of Victoria

Data with sufficient time and spatial resolutions to address the dynamics of the environment is fundamental to the improvement of forecast return models. This project focuses on integrating spatial-temporal environmental data and investigating the level of synchrony between primary productivity and salmon productivity as an initial step toward evaluating the integration of environmental data in DFO’s salmon forecast models

In the Salish Sea, it is suggested that the inter-annual productivity variability has contributed to the large variability in the Pacific salmon populations in the past 50 years, which have exhibited a general decline in the past decades. This has led to considerable uncertainties in current forecast models.

This project has leveraged ideas and funds to conduct research on integrating data collected by satellites, sensors aboard ferries, and citizens to provide information with sufficient time and spatial resolutions to address the biological dynamics of the Salish Sea and assist in fisheries management.

The Network approach has been fundamental for the success of this project by allowing successful collaboration among faculty and external partners. Several HQP are involved in this MEOPAR project: undergraduates (2), MSc (3), PhD (1), research assistant (1), and a new post-doc will start in mid-2016.

This project is one of nine research projects funded through MEOPAR's partnership with Irving Shipbuilding Inc.  Read more


  • BC Ferries
  • Ocean Networks Canada
  • Satlantic
  • Pacific Salmon Foundation
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Pacific Biological Station
  • Parks Canada - Gulf Island National Park Reserve
  • Laboratorie d’Oceanologie et de Geosciences
  • Dalhousie University
  • University of British Columbia
  • Université Laval


  • Yvonne Coady
  • Laura Cowen


  • Costa,Maycira,Carwell, T., Hilborn, A.; Sweeting, R.. 2016, Chlorophyll phenology in the Salish Sea: spatial and temporal data from ocean colour satellite imagery, Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences,

Outcomes from this project include:

  • A framework to engage the marine community, citizens, government, industry, and scientists, in taking advantage of non-specialized assets to fulfill the needs of marine observation data in the face of limited availability of specialized resources, such as research vessels
  • Contribute to the decision-making in fisheries management
  • Training of HQP with interdisciplinary knowledge in community engagement, ocean sciences, technology, and resource management to be future innovators
  • Providing end-users with economic opportunities to expand sales and to enrich and improve their social and environmental outreach initiatives
  • Providing end-users with spatial-temporal environmental information and associated analysis with salmon stock assessment to advise on implementation of salmon forecast return models

View a MODIS-Aqua time series of chlorophyll concentration in the west coast of Canada from January to September 2015 showing the large phytoplankton bloom (red/orange high concentrations; green/blue low concentrations).

View the spatial and vertical light attenuation in the Salish Sea