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Eel, DFO M. Castonguay
DFO  M. Castonguay
Eel research work published in

Much remains mysterious about the European eel. Although its spawning site in the Sargasso Sea - located about 500 km south of Bermuda - is well known, the eel spends the rest of its life thousands of kilometres from there in lakes and rivers in North America and Europe and no-one has ever observed or caught eels at sea.

A group of scientists from six countries, which included Maurice Lamontagne Institute's Martin Castonguay, reported in the September 25 issue of the prestigious journal Science that they had discovered how eels navigate the first 1,300 kilometres of their annual return migration. Twenty-two eels, each bearing a miniaturized pop-up satellite archival transmitter tag, were monitored closely. In addition to showing their position, which allowed researchers to calculate migration speed, the tags measured data on temperature and depth - useful for gaining a better understanding of saltwater eel habitat - and transmitted the information to satellites.

Technological improvements should ultimately allow researchers to monitor their entire return journey as the eels migrate to their spawning site in the Sargasso Sea.

Students wanted
A made-to-measure challenge just for you

Students interested in working in navigation, rescue at sea and prevention in summer 2010 are invited to submit their applications for the Canadian Coast Guard's Quebec Inshore Rescue Boat Program (IRB). You can apply beginning in November 2009 and until January 21, 2010.

If you are selected, you will first take part in an intensive 10-day training session that includes rescue simulation exercises as well as first aid and firefighting courses. You will also receive Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP) certification from Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard's Rigid Hull Inflatable - Operator Training (RHIOT) certification. The students will be provided with room and board as well as transportation and they will be remunerated throughout the training period.

Students who successfully complete their training will then either crew or captain rescue vessels. They will be assigned to one of the six IRB rescue stations in Quebec: Valleyfield, Oka, Beaconsfield, Longueuil, Sorel or Trois-Rivières.

There are all kinds of situations you might have to deal with: watercraft breakdowns, grounding, people overboard, fires aboard vessels, etc. You will also have to keep in mind a number of acts and regulations: the Canada Shipping Act, the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, etc.

This program offers you a unique opportunity to be part of one of the most effective search and rescue teams.

For more information, call 418-648-5330 or 418-649-6830 or visit the Quebec Inshore Rescue Boat Program Web page.

Fishery officers at the playground, DFO
Fishery officers at the playground

Last July 20, four fishery officers went to Fatima to participate in a clam digging activity organized by playground workers on the Magdalen Islands. Some 200 children from 5 to 12 years of age took part in the activity.

As they made their way to the clam digging site, one officer gave participants an overview of the various measures in force to conserve clams - a minimum legal size (51 mm), the number of clams that may be harvested in a single day (300) and the reason why mollusc areas are sometimes closed. Participants were also given clam measuring tools to raise their awareness.

The young people really enjoyed the activity, which has now been organized three times. It is important to remind them that everyone has a role to play in protecting our oceans. Each small act counts and working together, we will give future generations the opportunity to enjoy the wealth and beauty of coastal areas.

André Nicolas
Magdalen Islands Area

Call for projects in aquaculture

Fisheries and Oceans Canada reminds the public that the period for submitting project proposals for the Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP) continues until December 1, 2009, with funding for accepted projects set to begin in April 2010.

This program supports projects proposed by our partners in the aquaculture industry (aquaculturers and/or associations) by granting funds for collaborative research with joint funding. The industry is always required to contribute at least 30%, of which at least 7.5% must be a cash contribution. The final amount of the requisite industry contribution is based on the ACRDP contribution.

To meet selection criteria, the proposed projects must aim to improve the competitiveness of Quebec's aquaculture industry and include the participation of an industry partner.

The ACRDP is a Fisheries and Oceans Canada initiative that aims to increase the level of collaborative research and development activity between the aquaculture industry and the department, and in some instances with other funding partners. ACRDP is an industry-driven program that teams industry with DFO researchers. Projects will be conducted at DFO Research facilities or possibly at industry partner facilities.

Information about the Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


The Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (AIMAP) is also launching its call for proposals for 2010-2011. This program funds aquaculture projects that contribute to sustainable production, increased diversification, market access or developing green technology.

Proposals for 2010-2011 will be received until December 4, 2009.

Information about the Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (AIMAP)