FiSH Committee HSI Model Refinement
Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Alberta Environment and Parks, Canadian Natural, Suncor, Imperial Oil, and Shell Canada
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
January 2013 – April 2016
The Fisheries Sustainable Habitat (FiSH) Committee was formed to develop a standardized and more focused approach for the monitoring required of the various oil sands operators under the Fisheries Act. The primary goal of the FiSH Committee Refinement of Fish Habitat Pre-Disturbance Models Program (the Program) was to develop a dataset that will allow us to refine and calibrate the regional Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models to quantify fish habitat impacts in the oil sands region in a reliable and scientifically credible manner. This task was addressed in two phases:
- Phase 1 consisted of a database integration study, which included compilation of all fish and fish habitat data collected in support of individual operator programs to help understand what had been collected to date, and to identify data gaps, with the eventual goal of using the collated data for refining and validating HSI models.
- Phase 2 included the collection of three years of field data to develop a regional dataset to enable an assessment of habitat suitability for key riverine species that had not been captured in sufficient quantities during Phase 1, and subsequent analysis of the data to validate the existing regional HSI models.
Hatfield implemented the three years of field data collections and undertook detailed modelling work to validate the regional HSI models for the Athabasca oil sands region. Results were published in annual reports and presented in various technical workshops hosted by the FiSH Committee.