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Quebec Bulletin
February-March 2017/Volume 20/Number 1

Dispatches

Eel Migration: One of the Top 10 Discoveries of 2016 According to Québec Science

Eel
DFO  R. LaSalle

The efforts of researcher Martin Castonguay (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) and his colleagues, Julian Dodson (Université Laval), Mélanie Béguer-Pon (Université Laval and Dalhousie University), José Benchetrit (Université Laval) and Shiliang Shan (Dalhousie University) are among the 10 most impressive discoveries in Quebec in the past year according to Québec Science magazine.

These efforts shed light on the over 100-year-old mystery of eel migration to the Sargasso Sea. By marking eels with satellite tags that continually record water temperature and depth as well as light, the researchers reconstructed the eels' migration routes to their breeding ground—over a distance of some 2400 km! They also found that eels very likely used Earth's magnetic field as a navigational guide.

To be selected, each discovery must have been the subject of an article in a scientific publication between October 1, 2015, and October 31, 2016. The public was once again invited to vote for its favourite discovery; the research team whose discovery garnered the most votes received the "Prix du Public Québec Science Découverte de l’année 2016". This is the team of Sylvain Hamel, of the nanorobotic laboratory of Polytechnique Montréal.

For more info, read:

AQIP Annual Meeting: Presentation of the Most Recent Results from Scientific Work Carried out at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute

Men on a boat placing a trawl in the water
DFO  R. La Salle
Trawl being placed in the water to collect fish and invertebrate samples

At the 39th Association québécoise de l’industrie des pêches (AQIP) annual meeting, Yves de Lafontaine, Regional Director, Science, and researcher, Yvan Lambert, Director, Demersal and Benthic Science Branch–both with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region–presented the most recent results from scientific work carried out by teams at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute–St. Lawrence marine sector. The event was held in Québec City on January 25 and 26, 2017.

Yves de Lafontaine presented the direction and main activities of the Regional Science Branch in Quebec and highlighted the importance of the annual Atlantic Zone Monitoring Program for the Department's ability to monitor oceanographic conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. These data, which have been collected since 1998, are used to understand and predict the state of the marine ecosystem, to quantify the changes observed and to assess their impact on marine resources.

Yvan Lambert continued with a presentation that put into perspective the great potential of the data obtained during the annual fish and invertebrate sampling campaigns conducted aboard the CCGS Needler and the CCGS Teleost for monitoring the state of the ecosystem and assessing commercial stocks. He reiterated that in the context of ecosystem changes observed, one of the objectives of science was to integrate environmental effects into assessments of harvested fish populations.

Finally, Yves de Lafontaine pointed out that 2017 marks the 30th anniversary ooceanik

of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute. Thanks to the significant re-investment in science, its teams will be able to intensify their marine environment monitoring and scientific research activities.

Consultation Schedule for the Next Months

Group of people participating in one of the sessions on Fisheries and Oceans Canada's 2017 consultation schedule

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region, recently published its consultation schedule for commercial fisheries. The purpose of this schedule is to inform DFO's partners, clients and the public of the main initiatives that will be subject to consultations over the next year. DFO wants participation to be as widespread as possible, so that everyone who wants to can play a concrete role in the decision-making process for DFO's priorities, policies and programs.

We invite you to consult the schedule periodically for the latest updates on upcoming consultations. We value your comments. Feel free to share them with us!

2016-2017 Consultation schedule

Convictions under the Fisheries Act

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region, releases the names of fishers convicted of various offences under the Fisheries Act and continues to vigorously enforce its zero-tolerance policy towards offenders. The Department has a mandate to protect and conserve fishery resources and is ever vigilant in its efforts to prevent poaching of marine resources.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada encourages the public to report poaching incidents through its online form or by calling 1-800-463-9057. Reports are confidential.