MI embarks on fourth annual NL Fisheries Acoustic survey
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MI's Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) team (taken in 2012).

Researchers from the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University will embark on a survey of Newfoundland and Labrador’s waters aboard the Irish Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer this week.

On April 12 six members of the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) departed from Galway, Ireland, aboard the vessel on a transatlantic survey to St. John’s, N.L. During the transatlantic survey, CFER members worked with Irish colleagues studying areas of accumulation of the deep scattering layer; gathering larvae stages of sponges, jellyfish and fish; looking at the temperature of the ocean, the salt content and the concentration of nutrients and chlorophyll; taking samples for picoplankton (tiny microscopic plankton that are important for our oxygen on earth); and deploying a weather buoy to assist in forecasting weather patterns in the North Atlantic.

On April 24 the RV Celtic Explorer is expected to arrive in St. John’s late in the evening. Eleven additional members of the CFER team will join the crew, immediately load the vessel with the necessary equipment and depart on April 25 to conduct a 27-day fisheries acoustic survey of Newfoundland and Labrador’s waters.

Followers of the RV Celtic Explorer can track the ship's progress as it conducts its research at

The online blog provides daily information about the work conducted by the researchers and crew, including Dr. George Rose, director of CFER. This will be the fourth Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries acoustic survey by Dr. Rose and his team of researchers, scientists and graduate students. The first survey was an overwintering cod survey completed in February 2011.

The research led by CFER is expected to result in a better understanding of fish stocks and the status of Newfoundland and Labrador’s marine ecosystem. The research will significantly add to the existing knowledge about the province's marine fisheries ecosystems while supporting the development of sustainable and profitable fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Funding for the survey is provided by the provincial government through the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Research & Development Corporation.

For more information on CFER, please visit