Zonal Monitoring Program

Brief report and action items from the 9 June conference call

Participants:J. Gagnon, B. Petrie, D. Sameoto, P. Pepin, D. Gregory, S. Gosselin, S. Narayanan, G. Harrison, J. Runge, A. Gagné, D. Gilbert, P. Larouche, J. Helbig, J.-C. Therriault


Report: The main objective of the conference call was to initiate the implementation of the Zonal Monitoring program in the three Atlantic regions essentially following the propositions of the Zonal Monitoring document accepted by the regional Science Directors. Everyone agreed that we should first concentrate on the logistic aspects of the implementation, and that the formation of the Scientific data analysis and coordination committee (and its first meeting) should be postponed to the next Fall period. So, after a brief exposé on the status of the program (including hiring of new ETP’sl) in each region by B. Petrie, P. Pepin and J.-C. Therriault, discussions were dedicated mainly to the standardisation of methodologies to acquire physical, chemical and biological monitoring data in order to ensure comparability between the three regions. Action items concerning the standardisation processes agreed upon are listed below. Finally, after a brief discussion on data management it was decided to wait until after the next meeting of the Carbon data management group before taking any action on data management of the zonal monitoring data.

List of action items agreed upon and concerning specifically the standardisation of methodologies for the zonal monitoring program:

Sampling and analysis of zooplankton: Jeff Runge (leader), Doug Sameoto and Pierre Pepin will discuss this topic by e-mail and will determine an appropriate and common protocol for sampling and counting zooplankton. They will also examine the possibility of contracting out the identification and counting of zooplankton samples (one common contract for the three regions);

CPR data access: The accessibility to CPR data was discussed. The concensus reached was that these data should be available to any DFO researchers in the three regions. Some of us examined the documentation that was sent by D, Sameoto (copy of e-mail by Philip Reid) and came to the conclusion that there was no problem of accessibility since the documents clearly state that the CPR data will be provided free of charge to any Canadian Scientist as long as he accepts to sign a separate license agreement.

Sampling and analysis or phytoplankton and nutrients: Alain Gagné, Glen Harrison (leader), Phil Yeats and Pierre Pepin will design an appropriate protocol for the collection and laboratory analysis of chlorophyll, phytoplankton and nutrients samples. In particular, they will design a process to ensure inter-comparability of laboratory analyses and results. Finally, they will also examine the appropriateness of contracting out phytoplankton counting and identification;

Sampling of physical variables: Brian Petrie (leader), Jim Helbig and Denis Gilbert will document the methodology used for the collection of physical data (temperature and salinity) in the three regions and will determine if there is any particular sampling problem;

Remote sensing: (1) For the acquisition of fail-safe remote sensing data (temperature and ocean- colour), it was decided to follow the recent recommendations of the Atlantic Zone Remote Sensing Report. Thus, each of the two data streams will be collected at least at two sites. The fail-safe reception pair of ocean colour data will be BIO and MLI, while Newfoundland will only concentrate on the acquisition of temperature data. BIO and MLI will also acquire backup temperature data but they will give priority reception to ocean colour data when there is a conflict with temperature. (2) BIO will assume responsibility to produce composite (weekly or bi-weekly) zonal ocean colour maps, while MLI will assume responsibility for producing composite (weekly or bi-weekly) SST maps. Also, BIO and MLI will examine (P. Larouche and G. Harrison/T. Platt) the possibility of building up remote sensing databases that would be easily accessible to the scientific community using lat./long./time criteria.. (3) Finally, P. Larouche will contact MEDS to obtain real time SST data from the network of meteorological buoys. These data will be used for the calibration of zonal SST images.

Data management: Decisions concerning data management of zonal monitoring data should be postponed until after the next fall meeting of the Carbon Data Management Group.

Long Term Temperature Monitoring data: LTTM data are important for the monitoring program, but these will continue to be collected independently from the zonal monitoring program. In the Maritime and Laurentian regions, an effort is done to equip some stations with salinity-temperature probes.

Toxic Algae Monitoring: In the Laurentian region, the toxic algae monitoring program will continue as before. In particular, the identification and counting of phytoplankton from the two fixed stations in the Lower Estuary/Gulf of St. Lawrence will be carried out by the toxic algae monitoring program as part of a special agreement between the two programs. The Newfoundland region does not have a toxic algae monitoring program, and the relationship between the toxic algae monitoring program and the Zonal monitoring program was not clearly defined for the Maritime region.

Meteorological data: Each region should send their needs in term of meteorological data to Savitri Narayanan who will try to negotiate a MOU with Environment Canada for the whole Atlantic Zone.

Circulation of information : Information concerning the decisions and recommendations of the above mentioned sub-groups should be circulated to all zonal monitoring program participants as soon as possible..

Meeting of the Scientific data analysis and coordination group : The first meeting of the Zonal Scientific Data Analysis and Coordination Group will be held around the first week of November. J.-C. Therriault will call this meeting.