Acoustic tracking of juvenile blue sharks (Prionace glauca) in Nova Scotia waters from receivers positioned near N.S. offshore oil and gas platforms

In 2013, the Deep Panuke E&T and R&D Fund supported Dalhousie University’s Ocean Tracking Network proposal to conduct acoustic telemetry work in the Deep Panuke offshore oil and gas development region of Canada’s East Coast.
The purpose of the study is to:
  • Document the movements and marine habitats used by valued marine species in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, particularly around Nova Scotia,
  • Acoustically tag a currently understudied top predator (blue sharks, Prionace glauca) to provide fundamental information about the species’ distribution and survival in Nova Scotia waters, and
  • Expand the capacity of North American east coast acoustic telemetry networks by augmenting acoustic receiver coverage in the region by deployments of new receivers on infrastructure associated with the offshore oil and gas industry, and through training of new professionals.
Key objectives include:
  • Conduct a pilot project to deploy and maintain acoustic receiver units on appropriate offshore oil and gas infrastructure in Nova Scotia to complement existing receiver coverage,
  • Capture, tag, and release 20 blue sharks per year for two years (2013 and 2014),
  • Document movements, habitat use, and survival of acoustically-tagged blue sharks,
  • Make the information freely available to end-users, including industry, government, and the public,
  • Train 18 students per year in the use of the marine tracking technology and animal tagging, and
  • Expand the project to other offshore oil and gas platforms globally if this pilot project is successful.

Brendal Davis-Townsend
Lab Manager/Research Associate
Dept. of Biology, Dalhousie University Halifax
Phone: +1 902 4942478 (office)


Fred Whoriskey – Director of Ocean Tracking Network


Scientific research/education-outreach (In progress)

Contact Information
Principal Investigator
Brendal Davis-Townsend
Lab Manager
Biology Department Dalhousie University
1355 Oxford St.
PO BOX 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2