The Nearshore Temperature Monitoring Project was established by the FSRS in 2011. Its objective is to characterize the annual cycle of inshore temperatures in inshore lobster and mackerel habitat. The project came about due to concerns that temperatures may be affecting a number of biological functions such as spawning migration of mackerel and moult timing in lobster. Climate change is also a growing issue with potential implications that are difficult to prove. This project will act as method to create a long-term database of bottom and mid-water temperatures to compare with the behaviour of different species throughout the seasons.
In the spring of 2011 the FSRS, with the help of local fishermen and funding support from the Eastern Shore Fisherman’s Protective Association (ESFPA), deployed six temperature moorings along the Eastern Shore to kick-start the project. The moorings were deployed in late June in West Jeddore, Pope’s Harbour, Marie Joseph, Wine Harbour, Port Felix and Owl’s Head in early 2012. These gauges will be replaced annually and the temperatures will be added into a database so that a long-term set of temperature trends can be monitored for these areas.
Thanks to funding from Environment Canada in 2014, the Nearshore Temperature Monitoring Project was able to enter into Phase II and expand monitoring into the Gulf of Maine. With the funding in place, new equipment has been purchased and we are now able to set up 8 new mooring locations further along the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia and into the Bay of Fundy to cover the Gulf of Maine area. This will allow us to fill in key gaps of information we are currently lacking and get more fishermen involved with the project. The data collected will be entered into DFO’s Coastal Time Series database and will also be shared with our partners on the other side of the Gulf. These include - the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing System (NERACOOS) and the EcoSystem Indicator Partnership (ESIP) which are both collecting data on the United States side of the Gulf of Maine.
The FSRS is actively looking to collaborate and share information with any groups in the region who currently have year-long temperature moorings established (preferably in nearshore areas). By sharing resources we can vastly expand the content of our database and have the opportunity to focus our resources on establishing new moorings to fill current gaps in the data. If you or your organization is interested in collaborating please do not hesitate to contact us and see what each of us has to offer.
A sample from one of our temperature moorings located in the West Jeddore area. More results to follow as the data is compiled.