Sachs Harbour Benthic Communities.

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: biology, wildlife, benthic invertebrates, species productivity, seals

Principal Investigator: Siferd, Tim (2)
Licence Number: 13070
Organization: Fisheries & Oceans Canada
Licensed Year(s): 2000 1999
Issued: Jun 28, 1999
Project Team: Randy Holland, Jim Johnson, Jeremy Stewart, person to be named by the Sachs Harbour HTC

Objective(s): About three or four years ago, DFO was approached by the FJMC to investigate and area near Sachs Harbour where local hunters have observed persistently high population of bearded seals. At that time, a benthic photographic study of the area was proposed which would hopefully explain this concentration of seals. However, the lack of a vessel suitable for the camera gear prevented the study. Since that time, the HTC has indicated that they are also interested in the clams and other benthic resources available. Knowledge of the population sizes or the growth rate and recruitment levels in the area are necessary for setting sustainable quotas and managing any fisheries that might develop. This objective of this project is to assess the benthic community of southwest Banks Island, concentrating on the bays of Sachs Harbour, Blue Fox Harbour and Sea Otter Harbour, which have been identified by HTC as being the most important areas used by the community.

Project Description: The objective of this study is to determine population size or growth rate and recruiment levels for clams and other benthic resources in Sachs Harbour, Blue Fox Harbour, and Sea Otter Harbour. Sampling for the project will be conducted from the vessel Tucho Mariner and an additional Coast Guard launch. Equipment/sampling devices for the project include an underwater camera system, QTC view seabed classification system, bottom trawl, midwater trawl, longline, gill nets, crab/shrimp pots, ponar grab, zooplankton net, niskin water bottles, scuba gear. The groups of organisms to be collected are: clams, scallops, cucumbers, urchins, crab and fish. It is anticipated that no more than 1000 individuals of each species will be collected.