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MUNRO, J. (PRÉSIDENT), S. MARK, L. PROVENCHER, E. ALBERT, 2008. Compte rendu des ateliers sur lélaboration du cadre de suivi écologique de la future zone de protection marine Manicouagan, Québec, le 15 décembre 2006, le 24 janvier 2007, le 7 mars 2007, Mont-Joli ; Proceedings of the workshops held for preparing the ecological monitoring framework of the future Manicouagan Marine Protected Area, Quebec, December 15, 2006, January 24, 2007, March 7, 2007, Mont-Joli. MPO, Secrétariat canadien de consultation scientifique, Série des comptes rendus ; DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Proceedings Series, 2008/023, 112 p .
The Manicouagan Marine Protected Area is about to be created under the Oceans Act. Following the designation of the MPA, monitoring must be undertaken to determine whether the areas conservation objectives are being met. The Manicouagan MPA objectives aim to maintain biological productivity and diversity and to ensure sustainable exploitation of the resources. The development of a monitoring plan was initiated by drafting an ecological monitoring framework, presenting the ecological information on the area and identifying the existing and potential monitoring programs, as well as the information that needs to be obtained. In order to complete and improve the monitoring framework, three workshops that focussed on 1) exploited resources, 2) productivity and oceanography, and 3) biological diversity in the region including and immediately surrounding the MPA were held at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute in the winter of 2006-07. Most of the participants are affiliated with the DFO Regional Science Branch. Workshop 1: Using the available information on the principal exploited biological resources in the MPA, the specialists proposed to monitor the whelk and softshell clam populations. Several indicators were recommended for these species. The current monitoring of snow crab should suffice to monitor its population status in the MPA. Workshop 2: Knowledge on the biological oceanography for the entire St. Lawrence Estuary, as presented by the experts, was used to express hypotheses about the water dynamics in the MPA. Freshwater flows from rivers, wind and cold water upwellings were identified as determining processes in the area. The vast foreshore, the underwater bay and the coastal slope are likely to be significant productivity sectors. It was assessed that phytoplankton (especially toxic algae), filter-feeding shellfish near the estuaries, eelgrass beds, salt marshes and juvenile fish noticeably contribute to the regions productivity. Experts recommend to monitor the organisms that are produced in the area, particularly sedentary organisms, constantly subjected to the MPA conditions. The environmental pressures affecting key components were considered and a need to know and monitor sediment contamination levels was identified. Workshop 3: Available information on the biological diversity in the MPA was presented. Eelgrass beds, salt marshes and mollusc-dominated communities seem important for the diversity of the coastal area. The groundfish diversity appears to be high in the MPA. For the entire MPA, several epibenthos assemblages were mapped. Data from deeper waters are limited, but experts estimate that endobenthos and suprabenthos are important groups. Snow crab, occurring almost throughout the MPA, can act as a structuring predator in benthic communities. The sectors geology and bank erosion were the topic of a presentation, as well as the possible use of biomarkers and genetics in monitoring. Overall, an ecosystemic monitoring focusing on the systems key components is accepted by the peers, but the distribution and intensity of the environmental pressures must also be taken into account in the overall approach. For future indicator species, species with direct development and of low mobility should be preferred.
NELLIS, P., S. SENNEVILLE, J. MUNRO, G. DRAPEAU, D. HATIN, G. DESROSIERS, F.J. SAUCIER, 2007. Tracking the dumping and bed load transport of dredged sediment in the St. Lawrence estuarine transition zone and assessing their impacts on macrobenthos in Atlantic sturgeon habitat. Pages 215-234 in J. Munro(ed.), D. Hatin, K. McKown, J. Hightower, K.J. Sulak, A.W. Kahnle & F. Caron(co-ed.). Anadromous sturgeons : habitats, threats, and management. American Fisheries Society (Am. Fish. Soc. Symp., 56) .
The short- and long-term impacts of the annual disposal of dredged sediment within Atlantic sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus habitat in the St. Lawrence estuary were assessed by simulating sediment transport over 10 years and by sampling sediment and macrobenthos on impacted and control radials. The model applied bed load transport functions embedded in a baroclinic hydrodynamic model. The path predicted by the model was validated at its half-way point (5 years) using multibeam sonar images of the seabed as well as qualitative and quantitative sediment analyses. Sediment took more than 1 year to completely clear the disposal site, indicating continuous sand drift along the predicted path. In the first 2 years, the sediment path increased rapidly in length (10 km), bypassing a field of sand dunes and following the deepest depressions (10 m) in the downstream direction. In the middle of its 10-year course (ca 12 km), the sediment track crossed the most important core area used by early juvenile Atlantic sturgeon. Afterward, sediment progression slowed and accumulated in a 15-m-deep channel between islands in the middle of the estuarine transition zone. The impact stations showed a significant reduction in the average biomass of tubifids, the most important food item of juvenile Atlantic sturgeon in the St. Lawrence. Conversely, the number and abundance of epi- and suprabenthic taxa increased. Model and field results suggest that sand drift generated from disposal operations reduces benthic productivity along the modeled path, including critical habitats of early juvenile Atlantic sturgeon. Sand accumulation from dredged spoil that drift in dead current areas are also likely to reduce juvenile sturgeon habitat quality.©2007 American Fisheries Society
HATIN, D., J. MUNRO, F. CARON, R.D. SIMONS, 2007. Movements, home range size, and habitat use and selection of early juvenile Atlantic sturgeon in the St. Lawrence estuarine transition zone. Pages 129-155 in J. Munro(ed.), D. Hatin, K. McKown, J. Hightower, K.J. Sulak, A.W. Kahnle & F. Caron(co-ed.). Anadromous sturgeons : habitats, threats, and management. American Fisheries Society (Am. Fish. Soc. Symp., 56) .
Space use and habitat selection of early juvenile Atlantic sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus have been little studied and remain largely unknown throughout the species' range. In 2000-2002, survey trawling, ultrasonic telemetry, benthos sampling, and hydrodynamic modeling were used to determine the summer movement patterns, home range size, and habitat use and selection of early juvenile Atlantic sturgeon in the St. Lawrence estuary. Sonic-tagged Atlantic sturgeon, assumed to be age 2 based on their size, used a global area estimated at 76 km2 that included two main core areas. Individual summer home range sizes varied from 1 to 8 km2, but core areas were generally smaller than 1 km2. The mean daily distance traveled ranged from 0.4 to 13.5 km/d and was significantly related to sturgeon size. Fish were located mostly in freshwater relatively close to the salt wedge boundary and far from the shore, intertidal zones, and islands. They mostly used the 6-10-m depth range relatively close to a channel, in areas with low bottom current velocities, and over silt-clay substrates. Salinity and distance from the salt wedge were the two most important variables explaining their habitat selection. Age-0 Atlantic sturgeon used similar depth ranges, bottom salinities, and current velocities, but occupied mainly sandy substrate. Management implications of these results are discussed in relation to the impact of dredging and sediment disposal operations in the St. Lawrence estuary.©2007 American Fisheries Society
NELLIS, P., J. MUNRO, D. HATIN, G. DESROSIERS, R.D. SIMONS, F. GUILBARD, 2007. Macrobenthos assemblages in the St. Lawrence estuarine transition zone and their potential as food for Atlantic sturgeon and lake sturgeon. Pages 105-128 in J. Munro(ed.), D. Hatin, K. McKown, J. Hightower, K.J. Sulak, A.W. Kahnle & F. Caron(co-ed.). Anadromous sturgeons : habitats, threats, and management. American Fisheries Society (Am. Fish. Soc. Symp., 56) .
The St. Lawrence estuarine transition zone (ETZ) harbors the only known concentrations of age-0 and early juveniles of the St. Lawrence Atlantic sturgeon and lake sturgeon populations. Past dredging and disposal operations conducted in the ETZ to deepen the navigation channel resulted in the creation of an extensive sand dune biotope near the juvenile sturgeon concentration areas. In order to characterize the dune biotope within a diversified set of biotopes in the ETZ, nine areas were selected for study, including two areas to cover the sand dune complex. The study objectives were (1) to identify the benthos assemblages of the ETZ and the main physical factors controlling them, (2) to measure the sampling areas' biological characteristics and feeding potential for sturgeon, and (3) to compare the dune areas' feeding potential with selected control areas. In 1999-2001, grab sampling was conducted at 141 stations to determine macrobenthos composition and sediment parameters. Depth, slope, and slope orientation were measured from multibeam sonar echosoundings. Salinity, current velocity, and tidal amplitude were provided by a hydrodynamic model of the ETZ. Benthos assemblages were determined using cluster analysis on taxon biomass. Four major assemblages were identified, all having Tubificidae as the dominant or subdominant taxon : zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha, Gammarus tigrinus, Tubificidae, and Capitella sp. assemblages. A succession of the major assemblages was observed from the freshwater front to the upper mesohaline waters. Three minor assemblages, the Chironomidae, Physidae, and Cumacea, were concentrated in the upper oligohaline zone. Taxonomic richness was highest in areas with the lowest maximum salinity (0.0-0.5), and diversity was highest in areas with intermediate maximum salinities (0.5-2.0). The largest biomass values were found in areas with maximum salinities less than 0.5, in the zebra mussel assemblage. Controls and dune areas had similar macrobenthos richness and diversity, but dune areas had significantly lower densities and biomasses. Feeding potential for a given sturgeon life stage was measured as the sum of taxa biomasses standardized using the prey proportions in that life stage's feeding regime. For age-0 Atlantic sturgeon and for all lake sturgeon lige stages, all of which feed mostly on gammarids, the feeding potential of control and dune areas were not significantly different. For juvenile and subadult Atlantic sturgeon, which feed mostly on tubificids, the dune areas had a significantly lower feeding potential than the control areas. The lower feeding potential of the sand dune areas created by dredged sediment deposition is considered an important issue for the management of the St. Lawrence Atlantic sturgeon population.©2007 American Fisheries Society
GUILBARD, F., J. MUNRO, P. DUMONT, D. HATIN, R. FORTIN, 2007. Feeding ecology of Atlantic sturgeon and lake sturgeon co-occurring in the St. Lawrence estuarine transition zone. Pages 85-104 in J. Munro(ed.), D. Hatin, K. McKown, J. Hightower, K.J. Sulak, A.W. Kahnle & F. Caron(co-ed.). Anadromous sturgeons : habitats, threats, and management. American Fisheries Society (Am. Fish. Soc. Symp., 56) .
Atlantic sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus and lake sturgeon A. fulvescens live in sympathy in the St. Lawrence estuarine transition zone (ETZ). To describe their feeding ecology and compare their diets in this zone, sturgeons were sampled during the summer and fall of 2000 by trawling in the main channel and by gill netting in the shallower nearshore habitat. Stomach contents were sampled by gastric lavage of live specimens (trawling) and by digestive tract sampling (gill netting). Relative importance by taxonomic group was based on percent occurrence and percentage of the diet by number and weight for three sturgeon size-classes that corresponded to age-0, juvenile, and subadult stages. Spatial, seasonal, and life stage variations were observed in the diet composition of both sturgeon species. Age-0 fish of both species fed mainly on gammarids. Juveniles and subadults from both species fed mainly on oligochaetes and gammarids, but in opposite proportions : gammarids were the dominant prey for lake sturgeon and oligochaetes for Atlantic sturgeon. Subadult Atlantic sturgeon also fed on fish in the summer and on insects and mollusks in the nearshore habitat in fall. Vegetal matter was frequent and abundant in the stomach contents of Atlantic sturgeon subadults, especially in the nearshore habitat, and vegetal mass in the diet was correlated with gammarid biomass. In addition to gammarids, the lake sturgeon diet was correlated with gammarid biomass. In addition to gammarids, the lake sturgeon diet included insects, oligochaetes, and mollusks, whose proportions increased with sturgeon size-class. The proportion of amphipods decreased with size-class during both summer and fall. In the St. Lawrence ETZ, Atlantic sturgeon appear to be specialist feeders while lake sturgeon appear to be more often generalists. Diet diversity was higher in lage sturgeon, which fed on all of the 15 taxa identified in the macrobenthos of the ETZ; the diet of Atlantic sturgeon consisted of 10 taxa. In the main channel in fall, dietary overlap between Atlantic sturgeon and lake sturgeon was low for the juvenile and subadult life stages. The strong dependence of Atlantic sturgeon and lake sturgeon on oligochaetes and gammarids suggests that the areas where these benthic assemblages are found, near the freshwater-saltwater limit, are important feeding habitats for the age-0, juvenile, and subadult stages of both sturgeon species.©2007 American Fisheries Society
MUNRO, J., D. HATIN, K. McKOWN, J. HIGHTOWER, K. J. SULAK, A. W. KAHNLE, F. CARON, 2007. Anadromous sturgeons : habitats, threats, and management. American Fisheries Society (Am. Fish. Soc. Symp., 56), 420 p .
MARK, S., L. PROVENCHER, J. MUNRO, 2003. Approach for the assessment and monitoring of marine ecosystem health with application to the Mya-Macoma community. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 2491, 78 p .
This report develops a framework for monitoring and assessing marine ecosystem healt at the level of biological communities in the littoral zone. We initially present the concept of ecosystem health. Thereafter we describe the methodology to reach a set of indicators in four major steps. First, we identify the major issues affecting a specific community. Secondly, we identify the ecological properties likely to be affected at the different ecosystem levels. Thirdly, we suggest possible indicators of these properties for the Mya-Macoma community. Fourthly, we explore the establishment of objectives and benchmarks necessary for an assessment. Throughout these steps, relevant definitions and concepts are presented. After this process, we evaluate the indicators suggested for the Mya-Macoma communauty according to a set of criteria and propose a series of indicators in view of each major issue affecting this community (fisheries, contamination, habitat change, and climate change). The process emphasises the need for a prioritisation at every step, consequently limiting the number of parameters needed for surveying important ecosystem components and their functions. The work presented in this report focuses on the Mya-Macoma communauty, but the approach proposed can also be applied to other communities or to another level of the ecosystem.
MARK, S., L. PROVENCHER, J. MUNRO, 2003. Approche pour l'évaluation et le suivi de la santé de l'écosystème, avec application à la communauté à Mya-Macoma. Rapp. tech. can. sci. halieut. aquat., 2491, 85 p .
This report develops a framework for monitoring and assessing marine ecosystem healt at the level of biological communities in the littoral zone. We initially present the concept of ecosystem health. Thereafter we describe the methodology to reach a set of indicators in four major steps. First, we identify the major issues affecting a specific community. Secondly, we identify the ecological properties likely to be affected at the different ecosystem levels. Thirdly, we suggest possible indicators of these properties for the Mya-Macoma community. Fourthly, we explore the establishment of objectives and benchmarks necessary for an assessment. Throughout these steps, relevant definitions and concepts are presented. After this process, we evaluate the indicators suggested for the Mya-Macoma community according to a set of criteria and propose a series of indicators in view of each major issue affecting this community (fisheries, contamination, habitat change, and climate change). The process emphasises the need for a prioritisation at every step, consequently limiting the number of parameters needed for surveying important ecosystem components and their functions. The work presented in this report focuses on the Mya-Macoma community, but the approach proposed can also be applied to other communities or to another level of the ecosystem.
LACOSTE, K.N., J. MUNRO, M. CASTONGUAY, F.J. SAUCIER, J.A. GAGNÉ, 2001. The influence of tidal streams on the pre-spawning movements of Atlantic herring, Clupea harengus L., in the St. Lawrence estuary. ICES J. Mar. Sci., 58: 1286-1298 .
HARDY, D., J.D. DUTIL, G. GODBOUT, J. MUNRO, 2000. Survival and condition of hard shell male adult snow crabs (Chionoecetes opilio) during fasting at different temperatures. Aquaculture, 189: 259-275 .
MUNRO, J., D. GAUTHIER, J.A. GAGNÉ, 1998. Description d'une frayère de hareng (Clupea harengus L.) à l'île aux Lièvres, dans l'estuaire moyen du Saint-Laurent. Rapp. tech. can. sci. halieut. aquat., 2239, 34 p .
Several sampling operations with a grab, by diving and by underwater video, from May 31 to June 23, 1987, allowed us to localize a herring spawning ground on the north-west side of the upstream tip of l'île aux Lièvres in the St. Lawrence estuary. The spawning ground had a length of approximately 1600 m and a width varying between 50 and 250 m, covering an area of about 285,900 m2 between the 0 and 5 m depth contours. The substrate consisted mainly of gravel and pebbles; macrophytic algae (Odonthalia dentata, Phycodrys rubens) were abundant and the tidal current velocity exceeded at times 1.5 m.s-1. Examination of the development stage of the eggs and of oceanographic data indicated that the spawning in 1987 may have taken place between the 21st and 24th of May and that hatching peaked between the 9th and 12th of June. Mean proportion of dead eggs was low before and throughout hatching (13%) and increased considerably after hatching (53%). Total number of eggs was estimated at 1.65.1012, corresponding to approximately 94.8 million spawners or a biomass of 14,321 t.
HARVEY, M., D. GAUTHIER, J. MUNRO, 1998. Temporal changes in the composition and abundance of the macro-benthic invertebrate communities at dredged material disposal sites in the Anse a Beaufils, Baie des Chaleurs, Eastern Canada. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 36: 41-55 .
DUTIL, J.-D., J. MUNRO, M. PÉLOQUIN, 1997. Laboratory study of the influence of prey size on vulnerability to cannibalism in snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio O. Fabricius, 1780). J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 212: 81-94 .
MUNRO, J., C. AUDET, M. BESNER, J.-D. DUTIL, 1994. Physiological response of American plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides) exposed to low salinity. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 51: 2448-2456 .
Fishing season for snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) is short. This results in an overabundance of fresh crab in spring. Snow crab is rarely available off season and in major cities markets. Holding live unfed snow crab would extend the period of availability beyond the fishing season. This report reviews our knowledge of the biological requirements of snow crabs and suggests handling and transport procedures as well as live-holding techniques. Snow crab survival in holding facilities depends on careful handling on boats and during transportation. Crabs should never be exposed to water temperatures over 10 °C or to salinities below 22 ppt. Live-holding can be carried out at sea using modified fishing gears, higher survival rates being obtained in deep cold water with high salinity. In land-based facilities, excellent results have been obtained for a 3,5 month period at 0 °C. Under these conditions, quality of flesh is high and mortality rates are low. There is a need for information on optimal holding densities and on tolerance to metabolic wastes and low dissolved oxygen concentrations. To make for this lack of knowledge, we review current practices in lobster holding facilities.
LAMBERT, Y., J.-D. DUTIL, J. MUNRO, 1994. Effects of intermediate and low salinity conditions on growth rate and food conversion of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 51: 1569-1576 .
MUNRO, J., 1994. Écosystèmes benthiques des lagunes des Îles-de-la-Madeleine. Pages 67-79 in Actes de l'atelier sur l'aménagement d'un milieu lagunaire. Association pour la revalorisation de la lagune du Havre aux Basques et Ministère des pêches et des océans .
ROY, S., J. MUNRO, 1994. Productivité biologique des milieux lagunaires. Pages 45-58 in Actes de l'atelier sur l'aménagement d'un milieu lagunaire. Association pour la revalorisation de la lagune du Havre aux Basques et Ministère des pêches et des océans .
AUDET, C., M. BESNER, J. MUNRO, J.-D. DUTIL, 1993. Seasonal and diel variations of various blood parameters in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and American plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides). Can. J. Zool., 71: 611-618 .
DUTIL, J.-D., J. MUNRO, R. DUFOUR, Y. GAUTHIER, F. HAZEL, B. SAINTE-MARIE, L. PROVENCHER, J. BOYER, D. HARDY, 1993. L'élevage du crabe des neiges : bilan des travaux de recherche. Ministère des pêches et des océans, Programme fédéral de développement des pêches du Québec, 12 p .
MUNRO, J., 1992. Perspectives d'aquiculture des crustacés au Québec. Pages 27-32 in Colloque Mariculture Québec, le 1er mai 1992. Conseil de l'aquiculture et des pêches du Québec et Institut Maurice-Lamontagne .
DUTIL, J.-D., J. MUNRO, C. AUDET, M. BESNER, 1992. Seasonal variation in the physiological response of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) to low salinity. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 49: 1149-1156 .
MUNRO, J., G. SAVARD, 1991. Physical performance of a single versus a dual inflow rearing tank for fish and crustacean larvae. Pages 372-376 in P. Lavens, P. Sorgeloos, E. Jaspers & S. Ollevier (ed.). LARVI '91 : Fish & Crustacean Larviculture Symposium. European Aquaculture Sociey, Gent, Belgium (Special publication, 15) .
DUTIL, J.-D., M. BESNER, J. MUNRO, 1990. Response of plasma sodium, chloride and osmotic concentrations in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) following direct transfer to diluted seawater. Pages 169-174 in R.L. Saunders (ed.). Proceedings of Canada-Norway Finfish Aquaculture Workshop, September 11-14, 1989. Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans (Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 1761) .
DUTIL, J.-D., C. CANTIN, P. LAUZIER, M. NAUD, J. MUNRO, R. BAILEY, 1989. L'élevage de la morue franche, Gadus morhua : réalités biologiques et économiques. Rapp. can. ind. sci. halieut. aquat., 200, 41 p .
From a biological perspective, Atlantic cod rearing would appear promising. Atlantic cod can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions and the production of larvae and juvenile cod from brood stocks does not present major problems. Nevertheless, the production of juvenile cod could be enhanced should we have a better knowledge of the nutritional requirements of the larvae. Little information is available on the mortality rate of cod in on-growing facilities. In Québec, the scarcity of large-size cod and decreased catches of wild cod would suggest that cod farming should be considered as a complement to harvest fisheries. However, prices are also influenced by international markets.
BESNER, M., J.-D. DUTIL, J. MUNRO, 1989. Direct transfer of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) to low salinities during winter : survival, ionic and osmotic regulation. Bull. Aquac. Assoc. Can., 89(3): 62-64 .
CAMPANA, S.E., J.A. GAGNÉ, J. MUNRO, 1987. Otolith microstructure of larval herring (Clupea harengus) : image or reality?. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 44: 1922-1929 .
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