MI Research Project Added to Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Dr. Brett Favaro

Dr. Brett Favaro

A new research program by Dr. Brett Favaro, research scientist at the Marine Institute’s Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources has been added to the national Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) under the ‘New Early-Career Researcher Projects.’

The MEOPAR grant, valued at $100,000 will enable Favaro and co-investigators Kiley Best, fishery technologist with the Institute’s Centre for Fisheries and Ecosystems Research (CFER) and Dr. Cynthia McKenzie, research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre to conduct important research on the efficiency of green crab removal programs in Newfoundland and Labrador and their impact on the lobster industry.

European green crab are notorious invaders on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Canada. They are destroying eelgrass beds, preying on clams and other bivalves, and competing with other species for habitat and food. Green crabs invaded the waters off Newfoundland and Labrador in 2007 and have since been associated with reduced catches in the lobster fishery.

Using video technology, Favaro and team will work to ultimately determine how the industry should respond to the green crab invasion. Specifically, looking at ways the species are currently removed and helping lobster fisherman find ways to mitigate the negative effects of species.

“I am honoured to be part of the national MEOPAR network of scientists and am looking forward to taking a closer look at the invasive green crab population,” said Dr. Favaro. “The work we will be conducting will ultimately improve our ability to maintain the integrity of the marine environment.”

The research project, titled, “It’s Too Easy Being Green: Optimizing Capture Efficiency of Invasive Green Crab (Carcinus maenas) to Reduce Their Impact on Fisheries” is one of 12 new research projects added to the national MEOPAR network. MEOPAR is a team of outstanding, Canadian natural and social scientists. The organization is working to better understand and predict the impact of marine hazards on human activities and ecosystem and improve response. MEOPAR is funded by the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program and was established in 2012.