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Newfoundland’s fisheries get funding for research

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The Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research received $2.6 M for research to help the Newfoundland and Labrador fishing industry become more sustainable and prosperous

St. John’s, Nfld. – Fisheries science research in Newfoundland and Labrador received a $2.6 million boost.

The funding is going to the Marine Institute’s Centre for Fisheries

CFER's five-year progress report.

CFER’s five-year progress report.

Ecosystems Research (CFER).

Newfoundland and Labrador is the only province in Canada that funds its own offshore fisheries research.


Each year since 2010, much of this research has taken place aboard the RV Celtic Explorer, which is owned by Galway, Ireland-based Irish Marine Institute. It’s been chartered for one month in each of the past five years to support CFER’s fisheries science activities.

Paul Davis, the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, says the Celtic Explorer is one of the most advanced fisheries research vessels in the world “and has proven invaluable in the study of fisheries ecosystems off our province’s coasts.”

The vessel is fitted with the latest electronics and scientific equipment including: ocean mapping technologies, dry and wet laboratory spaces, remote operated vehicle capability, and echo sounders for acoustic surveying. It’s 65.5 m in length and can accommodate 35 personnel, including 20 to 22 scientists.

Since 2010, the province has provided more than $15 million to CFER to support the long-term sustainability of provincial fisheries resources.

CFER’s research focuses on a number of areas including:
• Surveys;
• Stock assessments and sustainable fisheries;
• Ecosystems structure and change;
• Climate and fisheries influences; and
• Species biology, ecology and behaviour.

Vaughn Granter, the minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, also explained that in order to create a sustainable and prosperous industry “decisions and activities in our fisheries need to be based on sound evidence and science.”

“Given the recently observed ecosystem changes and resurgence of the northern cod stock,” adds Granter, “the importance of the scientific survey work that will be undertaken this year can hardly be overstated.”

CFER has posted a five-year progress report highlighting its researchers, students and technologists and the innovative research conducted since 2010. The report is available at:

Photo of the RV Celtic Explorer from the Irish Marine Institute website.

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