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Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announces $10.5m Hydroaware Project Expanding Hydropower and Safeguard Habitats Using AI-Powered Fish Monitoring

March 6, 2024

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announces $10.5m Hydroaware Project Expanding Hydropower and Safeguard Habitats Using AI-Powered Fish Monitoring

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) has announced the HydroAware Project to expand hydropower and safeguard habitats using AI-powered fish monitoring. This project will help the advancement of fish monitoring technology by enhancing reliable fish tracking in harsh marine environments and increasing the availability of fish tracking insights from remote locations.

Led by Innovasea in Bedford, NS, the HydroAware Project shows promising advantages for the renewable energy community as the proposed AI advancements in fish tracking technology aim to address prevailing challenges by increasing approval rates for tidal stream and hydropower projects, reducing regulatory delays, and unlocking increased revenue potential. This solution has the potential to play a pivotal role in harnessing Canada’s untapped tidal stream and hydroelectric resource potential, aligning with the nation’s clean energy objectives and fostering substantial market opportunities within the ocean sector.

Together with partners Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE), BigMoon Power, Nova Scotia Power Inc., New Brunswick Power Corporation, and DeepSense, this project has a total value of almost $10.5 million where Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is contributing $5 million under its allocation through the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy (PCAIS) Program and the balance of funding coming from project partners.

Hydropower companies, aiming to maximize energy production while complying with legislation like the Fisheries Act and Species at Risk Act face the challenge of safeguarding fish populations from harm by their infrastructure. They use fish tracking solutions to monitor fish behaviour in and around their infrastructure to minimize impacts and ensure safe fish passage. The HydroAware Project will enhance fish tracking technology with AI, providing hydropower companies with the ability to collect evidence of safe fish passage, expediting regulatory approvals, and promoting renewable hydropower generation in Canada.


“Through the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the government is pleased to support Canada’s Ocean Cluster as it drive AI solutions for Canadian ocean companies. This fish-tracking technology project, one of nine projects announced today by OSC, could play a key role in contributing to Canada’s clean energy goals while also creating substantial market opportunities in the ocean sector.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“AI in ocean has the potential to help transform the way we do ocean business. Today Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announce the $10.5 million dollar HydroAware Project, bringing together partners across different ocean sectors to advance AI in fish tracking technology, manage the movement of fish around hydropower infrastructure, support the sustainable growth of an industry and create economic benefits and jobs in the process.” – Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

“Incorporating artificial intelligence capabilities to our existing fish tracking technology will help ensure that hydropower producers in Canada and beyond are able to meet their green power goals in a manner that safeguards habitats and minimizes impacts to marine life. AI will enable us to monitor fish activity in environments that were previously too remote or inhospitable, ultimately serving as a catalyst for the next generation of hydro and tidal power facilities.” – Mark Jollymore, President of Innovasea

“The HydroAware project is going to build upon the significant advancements Innovasea has made with tagless fish detection technology over the last few years while working with many of the same partners. That technology is giving hydropower producers better, real-time data on fish activity in and around their infrastructure today to help meet the dual mandate of protecting wildlife and improving operations.” – Mark Jollymore, President of Innovasea

“Tidal energy can help us meet our clean energy targets, contribute to our economy, and reduce reliance on imported energy. HydroAware will help us unlock that potential by improving our understanding of how fish and tidal devices interact with each other, and ensuring the safeguarding of our marine ecosystems.” – FORCE

About Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster accelerates the development and commercialization of made-in-Canada ocean solutions in energy transition, food security, future of transport, and climate change while also growing more companies, creating more jobs, and attracting ocean talent. As Canada’s national ocean cluster, the OSC is a convenor of members, partners, and networks and a catalyst for transformative growth that helps build the robust ecosystem needed to help realize Ambition 2035 – a 5X growth potential in ocean in Canada by 2035. To date, the OSC has approved more than 85 projects with a total value of more than $400 million which will deliver more than 200 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world. For more information visit oceansupercluster.ca


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