FORCE goes FAST for fish monitoring

FAST3 platform ahead of deployment (Photo: FORCE)

Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) has deployed a new underwater monitoring platform designed to capture environmental data from the Bay of Fundy, Canada.

The platform includes a suite of sensors to gather data on fish presence and behavior, including an acoustic zooplankton and fish profiler and an autonomous scientific echo sounder, according to FORCE.

FAST-3, the third sensor platform built and deployed by FORCE, was deployed in the Minas Passage last week, February 2, 2017.

Results gathered by the current FAST-3 deployment are expected to help FORCE identify the best sensor settings and operating schedule for future data collection at the FORCE demonstration site.

Tony Wright, General Manager at FORCE, said: “This platform will help us continue to enhance our marine life monitoring program. While international research indicates fish and marine mammals generally avoid in-stream tidal turbines, we need to test those findings here in the Minas Passage, with the best tools available.”

Haley Viehman, a post-doctoral fellow at Acadia University, will be analyzing the data upon retrieval, FORCE informed.

“I’ll be examining how fish use the water column, and how their densities and depths vary with respect to time of day, tidal stage, and current speed. Understanding when fish are present, and how fish are spread out in the water column, will help us assess the potential for interaction with an in-stream tidal turbine at this location,” said Viehman.

To remind, Cape Sharp Tidal installed the first 2MW tidal turbine at FORCE site in the Bay of Fundy in November, 2016. Another 2MW turbine is planned for deployment this year.

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