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May 17, 2018

A big problem for Little Harbour

In picturesque Little Harbour, Nova Scotia, the livelihoods and pastimes of residents are inextricably linked to the water. More than 650 permanent and seasonal homes, along with six commercial shellfish harvesting areas, lie along Little Harbour’s 31.5 kilometres of shoreline. But the beauty and prosperity of the area is being undermined by water contamination levels in the harbor, which have been on the rise for some years. The main contaminant is fecal coliform—the bacteria found in feces, and one that can accumulate in shellfish tissue. The presence of fecal coliform and the disease-causing pathogens it can contain has had an... Read more
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May 16, 2018

A voyage to the bottom of the sea — by sonar

Understanding the ocean, its creatures and possibilities requires understanding where it ends: the ocean floor. But mapping that remote territory is by no means easy. A team from Nova Scotia Community College recently worked with industry partners to evaluate a new approach to imaging the bottom of the sea. The partners were evaluating R2Sonic multibeam echosounders, an improved method of sonar backscatter imaging that greatly increases the information returned by sonar surveys of the ocean floor. Types of data that can be derived from a multibeam echosounder survey include water depth, which can be used to show the elevation of... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Students add flare to a foodie favorite

Longshore Fisheries is a family-owned lobster fishery that employs most of the residents in Sonora, Nova Scotia — but it is just one of over 400 seafood processing companies in the Maritimes. The company experienced steady and gradual growth and over time expanded its building and added equipment, new products and services. “The lobster industry is very competitive,” says Krysta Hanley, whose family set up the company in a shuttered clam plant. “We realized very quickly we need to have something that nobody else has.” The family-owned business realized it needed help to be innovative, so they approached the New... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Sustainable Aquaculture

Dr. Stephen Cross, Research Chair in Sustainable Aquaculture at North Island College, has been involved with aquaculture development and research in Canada since 1985. He has worked with industry, government, and academia on all aspects of environmental management for coastal aquaculture. Dr. Cross has also assisted with regulatory development in Chile and Thailand, on academic curriculum development in Mozambique, and on projects in the U.S. and Australia. With growing global demand for sustainable seafood, the major focus of research at North Island College will be to support sustainable aquaculture industry in Canada by assisting in efforts to diversify production through... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Conversion of Marine Macroalgae

The industrial use of marine algae is a huge and growing market feeding large industries, mainly in Asia and Europe. Canada has all the elements required to develop an industrial centre in this field, namely, relatively unpolluted coastal waters and large reserves of this natural resource. Québec’s coastal areas are no exception. Québec’s macroalgae has a high commercial potential, since this natural resource is used in a wide range of products, including fertilizers, foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Fast-growing cold-water algae are easily cultivated in marine farms, and could bring needed diversification to shellfish farmers. Despite the emergence of an algae... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Agroforestry Extraction

The emerging bioeconomy is providing promising new opportunities for the development of new products from forestry and agriculture biomass. While significant progress has been made in the conversion of forestry residues to useable biomaterials, developments in the agroforestry sector require a better understanding of the chemical composition of forestry biomass from a variety of different sources and the availability of effective and reliable production technologies with a low environmental impact. Collège de Maisonneuve’s Industrial Research Chair Dr. Yacine Boumghar, has considerable expertise in extraction and separation bioprocesses and in scaling-up pilot-scale processes. He is leading a research program on the... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Wave Energy Research

College researchers in Burin, Newfoundland are experimenting with wave energy to develop a pump that could provide water for aquaculture operations inland. The College of the North Atlantic team is in the fourth year of a research project on wave pump application, development and optimization. Over the course of the project, the team has developed a wave-powered device to pump water to shore for a land-based aquaculture pilot farm. Along with the original project plan, this multiparty funding has supported the development of the Wave Energy Research Centre (WERC), a field station with significant infrastructure, for long term research and... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Planning for Sustainable Salmon Aquaculture

Fish farmers and fisheries experts are working together to monitor the effects of aquaculture on the ocean floor with the help of researchers from North Island College. The BC Salmon Farming Association (BCSFA) and the local offices of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) identified a need to strengthen capacity in monitoring the ocean floor of hard bed substrates where some B.C. fish farms are located. North Island College was approached in 2012 to help research the issue for the North Vancouver Island salmon aquaculture industry with the aim to ensure environmental sustainability of aquaculture. Dr. Aisling Brady, a... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Passive Treatment of Leachates from Forestry Waste

Wood waste from the Quebec forest industry is often stored in large piles that can degrade the soil under and around the stockpiles. Forestry researchers at the Centre technologique des résidus industriels (CTRI) at Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue are testing ways to decontaminate water that may be affected by leaching from these stockpiles. The cégep’s researchers applied their knowledge about treatment of wastewater from mine tailings to the problem of leachates from bark heaps for a local forestry company, Coopérative forestière du NordOuest, Mabarex. The research team is designing, installing and monitoring a pilot passive treatment of leachate waters in wood... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Cloud Mapping for Forestry Planning

Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of forestry resources is moving from desktop to the cloud with assistance from Selkirk College. Selkirk College’s Geospatial Research Centre (SGRC) conducts applied research, develops applications, and delivers Selkirk’s Advanced Diploma and Bachelor of GIS programs. The research centre has experience developing sophisticated web-based map services. A local forestry software company, Valhalla, approached SGRC for assistance expanding its suite of software designed to help the British Columbia forest industry to manage harvesting operations, production and sales of lumber to domestic and international markets. The software can run on both the desktop and in the cloud.... Read more
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