Integrating Hydro-acoustic Approaches to Predict Fish Interactions with In-Stream Tidal Turbines

Principal Investigators:

Dr. Kira Krumhansl, The Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE); Acadia University, Kongsberg Marine, University of Maine, and ASL Environmental

Start Date: October 2017

End Date: June 2019

Fish avoidance of turbines combined with the likelihood and consequences of fish strikes remain among the most critical knowledge gaps of the tidal energy industry. These subjects are especially important to regulators, as well as to the public who will give, or withhold, their support for future industry growth in Nova Scotia. To further refine our ability to monitor fish behavior in Minas Passage, this FORCE-led project, in association with Acadia University, Kongsberg Maritime and ASL Environmental Sciences, proposes to integrate data from two of the most advanced fish monitoring technologies currently available: mobile, downward looking hydro-acoustic sonar and stationary, upward looking sonar.

Combining these approaches will provide a more comprehensive understanding of fish use of the FORCE site, and therefore allow better predictions of potential fish/turbine interaction. The project seeks to make a major step forward in our understanding of fish at high-tidal-flow areas; this approach has yet to be implemented for monitoring at other tidal energy sites. Supporting integrated methods of data collection and analysis will fill critical information gaps and support the creation of best practices for environmental monitoring. Further, the project will provide benefits to Nova Scotia by developing local capacity for environmental monitoring and innovation.