A group of University of New Brunswick/Canadian Rivers Institute researchers has concluded a three-year study on the Saint John Harbour, and the results are very positive.
The main motivations for conducting the study were to establish a long-term environmental monitoring process for the entire harbour, as well as a baseline to compare with future findings.
Both the process and baseline are tools that will empower stakeholders to ensure the health and protection of all the species that make the Saint John Harbour their habitat. They will also serve as a reference for other ports in Canada and around the world seeking the highest environmental standards.
The study concluded that even though the harbour has been an industrial site for more than two centuries, it remains a nursery for a wide variety of fish. The researchers found 26 varieties, including five that had not previously been recorded.
In collaboration with Port Saint John, the researchers conducted a catch-and-release sample process in both dredged and non-dredged areas of the harbour, counting both the number of species and the quantity of fish caught in each sample.
The research team at UNB is currently finalizing its recommendations for long-term monitoring to assess the effects of current and future environmental stressors.