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Field Trips & Local Exploration

Please note that each trip is limited to 30 persons, and the deadline for signing up is May 15th.

Field Trip A: Port Mouton - A Community Protecting its Bay


Field Trip A: Port Mouton – A Community Protecting Its Bay
Port Mouton Bay, Nova Scotia

Sunday June 26

Port Mouton Bay, on the south-west shore of Nova Scotia supports an active fishery and a vibrant tourist industry. Over the summer and fall of 2006, the Port Mouton Bay community learned of a proposal to establish a second fish farm in the bay. A salmon farm was established in 1994/1995. Due to the expereince with the active fish farm, the community was convinced a proposed second fish farm would further threaten the ecological health of the Bay and in particular lobster habitat.

Friends of Port Mouton Bay joined together in 2006 in response to their concern for the future of our Bay. They engaged in research which documented the local ecological knowledge of the fishermen, conducted scientific experiments and collected information including fishermen-led lobster trap surveys to demonstrate the low-flushing and ecological site-specific nature of the bay.

Community driven efforts to put a moratorium on the new finfish aquaculture operations in Port Mouton Bay were successful in 2009. Later that year, the community reached a co-operative agreement with the new salmon farm owner, Cooke Aquaculture, to leave the current site fallow while we conduct collaborative sediment biodiversity studies with Dalhousie University on the rate of recovery of the bay from aquaculture activity.

Conference delegates will learn about the community’s experiences with open-net salmon aquaculture. They will take boat trips to demonstrate the ecosystem functions around the scenic Bay.


Donna Curtis is your Trip Leader.

Please be sure to be at one of the following pick up locations ON TIME. If you are on time, you will 'miss the boat.' If you miss the bus, you will not be able to get a refund for your trip! Thus, please be sure to be ON TIME!

Pick Up @ 6:30am – Dalhousie Residences – Risley Hall

Pick Up @ 6.35am – Lord Nelson Hotel

Pick Up @ 6:40am – Garden South Park Inn

Pick Up @ 6:50am – Westin Hotel

7:00 AM - Depart Halifax

9:15 AM   - Coffee Reception at the Hostel. Meet community leaders, local entrepreneurs and resource people. Choose a boat trip, kayaking or a beach walk to see a marine estuary 

10:00 AM  - Boat trips depart from Central Port Mouton wharf 

1:00 PM  - Lobster Chowder Lunch in Southwest Port Mouton 

1:45 PM   - Choose from beach walk, history and nature tour, kitchen talk, bait shed skills 

3:15 PM   - Wrap-up at West Queens Rec Center 

4:00 PM  - Depart for Halifax.

6:00 PM - Arrive in Halifax

Fishermen and members of the Friends of Port Mouton Bay will accompany all excursions. 

Suggested Dress Code:

  • Comfortable walking shoes or runners
  • A sweater plus windbreaker may be needed on the water
  • Landlubbers may get their feet wet; Rainwear is good insurance
  • Sunscreen and hat
  • Cameras, binoculars
  • Personal water bottle



Field Trip B: Community-Based Management: The Clam & Lobster Industries

Digby, Nova Scotia

Sunday June 26

There are a couple of significant issues that Wanda Van Tassel of Fundy Adventures is able to address in facilitating eco-tours such as the clam harvesting experience. The first is discussing the importance community based managed fisheries and sustainably harvested sea foods. The association in Clam Harvesting Area 2 (CHA2-- Digby and Annapolis Counties where the clamming adventure takes place) have developed a management plan that ensures conservation and enhancement through rotational digging, selective digging to guarantee size limits are being adhered to and a winter closure. It is as a result of these arrangements that the soft shell clam industry is sustainable.

A second discussion that Wanda facilitates through her eco-adventures is the importance of knowing where food is produced, who the producers are and how it is produced. She hires local clam harvesters to work alongside tour participants so that they can gain firsthand knowledge of these issues.

To a large extent the relationship between what we eat, where it comes from and who is providing it has been lost and therefore so has the idea of making it priority and taking pride in it. People have come to rely on fast and easy food which adversely affects the livelihoods of traditional food producers. Wanda is able to re-connect food consumers with food providers which is an enriching, fulfilling and educational experience for everyone involved. I think she is able to accomplish this because she has the advantage of being a traditional harvester and therefore recognizes the need to share these types of experiences while also having the gift to organize them.

In the morning, conference delegates will take a boat trip and pull in lobster traps with fishers involved in a co-op and in the afternoon, delegates will take part in a clam harvesting adventure.


Courtenay Parlee is your Trip Leader.

Please be sure to be at one of the following pick up locations ON TIME. If you are on time, you will 'miss the boat.' If you miss the bus, you will not be able to get a refund for your trip! Thus, please be sure to be ON TIME!

Pick Up @ 5:40am – Dalhousie Residences – Risley Hall

Pick Up @ 5:50am – Lord Nelson Hotel

6:00 AM Depart Halifax

8:00 AM - Arrive at the Digby Warf for a brief introduction of our activities for the day.

8:30 AM - Lobster Adventure

You will then meet one of our community leader fishermen Chris Hudson who will take you aboard his boat. We will be going into the Digby Harbor and there Chris will share stories of his life and how hard he works to keep the fishery alive and well today, he has volunteered his time to many different associations and groups to help support the fishery in any way he can. He is currently the president of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishers Association, Member of the Lobster Council of Canada and a member of many more. Chris is also a board member/fishing member of the community supported fishery “Off the Hook” and he will also share with you how “Off the Hook” came to be.

11:00 PM – Arrive back at the Digby Warf -we will then go to the Marine Resource Center in Cornwallis for lunch. Everything you will eat is locally produced food products, Seafood Chowder and Dulse Biscuits; we will also have sandwiches available for those who can’t eat seafood.

12:30 PM – Claming Adventure - You will then meet another local resident Terry Wilkins who has been a clam digger since he was a young boy. You will then learn about some of the ways these hard working men/ women have lived through challenging times in the clamming industry. He will also talk about reseeding there clamming areas to make it more sustainable so there can be clams for many years to come. You will then get hands on experience hacking through sand and mud looking for clams. After all you’re hard work we will travel back to the top of the beach and have a steam clam treat!

3:30 PM –Depart for Halifax

Suggested Dress Code:

  • Comfortable cloths, please dress in layers as there is often a cool breeze off the Bay of Fundy
  • Wear old non-slip shoes, hiking boots, or rubber boots, please bring an extra pair as you may get wet.
  • Sun block and hat
  • Personal water bottles
  • Camera or Binoculars

Please Note: Life Jackets, food and snacks will be provided.
You want to be hydrated, energized and protected from elements so you can enjoy your experience to the fullest.







Film: A Coastal Partnership

Maritime Stories of
Integrated Management

Watch it here

People in Places
Engaging Together in Integrated
Resource Management

An International Conference in
Halifax, NS, Canada
June 27-29, 2011

View our Conference Proceedings here