Eyes on the Tides

Satellite images help Maritime seaweed processor cut costs and expand operations


When Acadian Seaplants Limited (ASL) was founded in 1981, it started a new Canadian industry. Today, this seaweed processing company is a world-recognized industry leader, selling its products in over 70 countries and contributing $50 million to the economy of Canada’s Maritime provinces and around 300 jobs in the region. With over 3,000 km of shoreline leased by Acadia Seaplants in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, it needed a new approach to effectively survey this vast area while minimizing the time and money spent in the field. The answer came from the Applied Geomatics Research Group at Nova Scotia Community College, which is now using a cutting-edge Worldview-2 satellite to capture high-resolution images of ASL’s leased shorelines at low tide. The satellite will also scan for new sites where ASL could potentially expand its sustainable harvesting operations keeping the Maritime seaweed products industry thriving.

For the period 2012-13: NSERC contribution, $25,000; industry partners and others, $15,000.