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Quebec Bulletin
April-May 2017/Volume 20/Number 2

Aquatic Climate Change: The Department Takes Stock of Its Efforts

Huge wave engulfing a wharf
Climate change can pose risks to coastal infrastructure for which the Department is responsible.

During an internal workshop held on February 8–9, 2017, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region, gave an overview of the scientific work it carried out from 2011–2016 as part of its Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program. This work focused on developing knowledge on the impacts of climate change on aquatic ecosystems. It was also an attempt to develop approaches and tools to allow the Department to adapt its initiatives and management decisions to observed or anticipated changes.

The scientists involved presented the findings of their work regarding four important topics:

  • Risks to coastal infrastructure under the Department's responsibility,
  • Assessing the impacts of climate change on the physical and chemical oceanographic processes that govern ecosystem productivity,
  • The impacts of climate change on marine resources,
  • The development of tools to help adapt to climate change (like maps, future climate scenarios, etc.) to support management and decision-making at the Department, in the face of such changes.

Outside of these presentations, large group discussions were held with representatives from the Quebec Region's management areas. The goals of these discussions were:

  • to determine the implications of scientific research on climate change, within a management and decision-making context for the Department;
  • to identify new, climate-change-related priorities that should be the subject of scientific research over the next few years.

The participants notably agreed on the importance of integrating the effects of climate change when providing scientific advice to the Department—including scientific assessments of fish resources—in order to guide long-term management measures that should be put in place.

All of the scientific results presented, as well as a synthesis of the discussions, will be published in this year's series of Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Canadian manuscript reports of fisheries and aquatic sciences. Also, the Department will make a significant effort in the future to share the results of its work. Fisheries and Oceans Canada's scientists will be encouraged to participate in various forums hosting external clients, such as fishing industry advisory committees.

Michel Gilbert

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