Researchers probing hidden secrets in waters off northern Labrador coast
A Labrador research expedition led by non-profit Oceana Canada and the Nunatsiavut Inuit government is assessing under-studied, vital marine habitats, with a goal of creating better environmental protections. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Oceana Canada, Robert Rangeley)
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A research expedition in northern Labrador is currently assessing vital yet relatively unexplored marine habitats.
The non-profit group Oceana Canada and representatives from the Nunatsiavut Inuit Government are surveying northern fjords, islands around the village of Nain and archeological sites in Hebron and Okak on the 10-day voyage.
Robert Rangeley, Oceana Canada's science director, says the expedition aims to address scientific gaps in key ecosystems, like charting unknown ocean depths and probing what life forms live on the sea floor.
Underwater cameras around fjords have already yielded stunning images of soft corals and "forests" of sea anemones, Rangeley says, both signs of productive, healthy environments.
Locations were chosen based on local interest and existing knowledge, with a view to informing future management decisions.
Rangeley says filling knowledge gaps is essential in these habitats, which are undergoing major changes from climate change and development in the region.