CCFFR-SCL2020 features several symposia ranging in topics. Each symposium features important issues within Canada and beyond. If you have any questions regarding symposia content, please contact the session Co-chairs or

1) If you are interested in presenting within a symposium, please indicate the desired symposium in the abstract submission form.

2) Themed Sessions will be derived from submitted abstracts. Please indicate if you would like to be placed in a themed session in the abstract submission form.

Canadian Conference For Fisheries Research

Genomics and eDNA applications in fisheries and conservation

Co-Chairs: Ian Bradbury, Paul Bentzen and Daniel Heath

Over the last decade, disruptive advances in DNA sequencing have drastically altered the amount of DNA that can be sequenced cheaply and quickly. Massively parallel DNA sequencing platforms have reduced the cost of DNA sequencing by orders of magnitude and democratized the field by putting unprecedented sequencing capacity in the hands of individual researchers.  The ability to sequence unprecedented amounts of DNA means a functional understanding of differences among individuals, populations, and species is now possible as well as the reconstruction of community composition from environmental DNA.  This has prompted a paradigm shift in how natural systems are studied and opened up countless new applications and questions that can be addressed quickly and cheaply.   As a direct consequence, genomic tools now offer broad reaching potential to contribute to and in some cases transform how most aspects of aquatic conservation and management are conducted. This session will explore these potential applications including how advances in sequencing capacity are being used to identify stocks or populations, manage mixed stock fisheries, manage invasive species, threatened or endangered species, predict effects of and plan for climate change impacts, design marine protected area networks, and manage aquaculture impacts.

Science for spatial planning in changing aquatic environments

Co-Chairs: Noreen Kelly1 and Ryan Stanley1

1 Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Coastal Ecosystem Science Division, Bedford Institute of Oceanography,

Spatial planning is emerging as a valuable management approach that can balance competing human uses of aquatic ecosystems, while considering the need for the conservation of species and habitats. Added to this picture are the sustainability challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change, and the general lack of comprehensive baseline information on which to monitor and manage change in a dynamic aquatic environment. Thus, the success of spatial planning as a tool to address such complexities requires scientific studies that integrate information across a variety of disciplines (i.e., physical, biological, socio-economic) and spatial-temporal scales. This session will showcase research that can be used to inform the spatial management of aquatic ecosystems. We welcome presentations that: (1) develop scientific questions, approaches, models, and/or spatial tools that can inform the management of seascapes or protected areas; (2) apply monitoring and/or survey approaches to measure; (3) highlight technological approaches (e.g., seafloor mapping) to develop ecological baselines, as precursors to evaluating change; and/or (4) estimate the spatial distribution of existing and/or emerging pressures (e.g., fishing pressure, habitat loss) and/or the associated biological response (species or habitat) in an iterative or cumulative fashion. Overall, this session will provide a forum for discussion and information sharing on how to accomplish comprehensive spatial planning to address the multitude of pressures facing changing aquatic ecosystems.

Shifting resource dynamics in rapidly-changing marine ecosystems

Co-Chairs: Dominique Robert1 and Jonathan Fisher2

1 UQAR, CRC in Fisheries Ecology

2 Fisheries and Marine Institute, MUN

Over the past two decades, numerous regions of Canada's three oceans have undergone an accelerating warming trend. In addition to the direct physiological effects of warming conditions on marine organisms, increasing temperatures have in some cases altered the composition and phenology of secondary producers and predators, leading to potential trophic mismatches and recruitment failure for dominant fisheries resources, and to the emergence/recovery of new or previously-collapsed stocks. These rapid changes in fisheries ecosystem dynamics and aquaculture production potentially pose major risks and opportunities for Canadian coastal communities and industries. In these contexts, it is essential to identify mechanisms through which environmental variability drives marine productivity dynamics, as prescribed by the revamped Fisheries Act and the current DFO-led initiative to implement an ecosystem approach to fisheries management in Canada. In this session, we welcome a wide range of contributions focusing on the processes through which changing marine environments and habitats affects commercial/recreational/subsistence fisheries dynamics and aquaculture production. We also welcome case studies focusing on challenges and opportunities related to the exploitation of recovering and emerging resources.

The Society of Canadian Limnologists

Applying limnology to solve problems in the 21st century

Co-Chairs: Kerri Finlay, Roxane Maranger and Matthew Bogard

Canada has a long and diverse history of applied limnological research. This session aims to build on this history by fostering a broad and interdisciplinary discussion around environmental problem solving in the 21st century, with the key criteria being the application of limnological concepts, knowledge, and techniques. Presentations on all issues are welcome, from local- to global scales, from organismal to landscape-scale biogeochemical, and everything in between.

Aquatic invasive species in Canada

Co-Chairs: Linda Campbell1 and Sarah Kingsbury2

1 Director of Saint Mary’s University School of the Environment and Senior Research Fellow of the Dynamic Environments and Ecosystem Health Research Group

2 MSc Candidate at Saint Mary’s University studying Chinese mystery snails, Cipangopaludina chinensis, a potentially invasive freshwater species

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native fish, invertebrate, or plant species that negatively impact negative species (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2019). AIS cause a decline in biodiversity and have negative economic implications for populations taxed with the proper management of these species (Officer of the Auditor General of Canada, 2019). AIS is becoming an increasing ‘hot-topic’ in Canada as Canada is a vast country with little aquatic oversight and very limited ability to control the influx and establishment of invasive species (Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 2019). Many Canadian provinces are trying to establish AIS monitoring programs to help control/prevent the further spread of AIS within a province, but little has been done to connect these organisation in a way to promote knowledge sharing (Alberta Parks, 2019, Environmental Reporting BC, 2015, Government of Saskatchewan, 2019, Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 2019). Management of AIS is tricky because invaded ecosystems are dynamic and cross-boundary (e.g. water that connects multiple countries). As there are four pillars to AIS management (prevention, early detection, response, control and management), each provincial and the federal government focuses resources on different pillars and often offer citizens different management tools (e.g. informative websites, AIS reporting phone apps, clean-drain-dry boater programs) which means that various approaches to AIS management have been or are being tested, but the results of those programs are not always made easily accessible (Crall et al., 2010, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2019). Therefore, moving forward in Canadian water management, AIS management program results need to be shared at conferences such as the Canadian Society of Limnology.

The proposed AIS session will cover topics such as an overview of AIS in Canada, AIS impacts on invaded ecosystems, indigenous people impacted by AIS, AIS management at the provincial and federal levels, AIS research being conducted in Canada, and lessons-learned (what has worked for some provinces or other countries). We will be inviting speakers for each category, as well as student presenters, to ensure that this session offers a well-rounded view of the current AIS situation in Canada, so that participants can look to the future with full understanding of the present.

Temporal dynamics in aquatic ecosystems

Co-Chairs: Kristen Coleman1, Jennifer Korosi1 and Joshua Thienpont1

1 York University

In aquatic ecosystems, driver-response relationships are often not readily apparent from shortterm observations, due to phenomena like legacy effects, time lags, and ecological memory. Consequently, a long-term perspective on aquatic ecosystem change over decadal, centennial, and millennial timescales can reveal new insights into ecosystem processes and trajectories of change. For this session, we welcome contributions that explore temporal dynamics in aquatic ecosystems, either through instrumental or monitoring records, or reconstructed from paleoenvironmental archives. Examples of potential themes include the influence of past events on current ecosystem processes, drivers of ecological change acting on long timescales (e.g. climate oscillations), ecosystem regime shifts, and discussions of the challenges of collecting long-term data on aquatic ecosystem processes.