Canadian field team helps put SeaMonitor project ahead of schedule

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Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) field staff based at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia are currently working in the Northwest with the team responsible for maintaining critical animal tracking infrastructure to support of the SeaMonitor project.

Led by the Loughs Agency and supported by eight leading marine research institutes, SeaMonitor provides Europe’s largest fish monitoring network using advanced large-scale technology, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The project aims to track the movements of some of the ocean’s most vulnerable species, including Atlantic salmon, finned rays, basking sharks, seals and cetaceans.

The data collected by the researchers will be used to inform marine policy and management frameworks and to support conservation actions.

OTN field staff Cassandra Hartery and Caitlin Bate carried out coordinated expert fieldwork alongside Diego del Villar, Senior Scientist for the SeaMonitor project at the Loughs Agency, using acoustic telemetry equipment in large scale.

“OTN has once again been an asset to the agency and the SeaMonitor project by providing expertise to help our team recover and redeploy Europe’s largest network,” said Sharon McMahon, Managing Director of Loughs Agency .

“The ocean is a massive, dynamic and difficult environment in which to work. Our priority is getting equipment out of the water safely and I am delighted with the excellent progress we have made in providing such important and innovative marine research data that will ultimately help protect some of our most important and most important marine species. vulnerable.

“The agency’s team of specialists and project partners continue to work hard to ensure project goals are met while following COVID-19 protocols and the incredible work undertaken recently puts us well ahead of the calendar. “

Funding for the SeaMonitor project was provided under the environmental objective of the European Union’s INTERREG VA program, which is managed by the Special EU Programs Body (SEUPB), to the tune of 4.7 million euros.

Co-funding for this project has been provided by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in Ireland.

Key support and expertise was also provided by DEARA whose ship, the Queen of Ulster, was used to take project scientists for recoveries last week. Other essential field work was carried out at the Loughs Agency headquarters in Derry and Lough Foyle.

For more information on the project, visit the Lough agency SeaMonitor portal or follow the project on Twitter at @ SeaMonitor1.



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