Fisheries Research Board

Until the transfer of its staff to the Department of the Environment in 1973 and its demise in 1979, the FRB was the principal federal research organization working on aquatic science and fisheries.

Fisheries Research Board

Until the transfer of its staff to the Department of the Environment in 1973 and its demise in 1979, the FRB was the principal federal research organization working on aquatic science and fisheries. Many of Canada's eminent marine scientists were associated with the FRB, which descended from a board of management (1898) established to run a floating biological station on the Atlantic coast, to become the Biological Board of Canada in 1912. In 1908, permanent biological stations were opened at St Andrews, NB, and Nanaimo, BC, staffed by summer volunteers from universities. In the 1920s, the board hired full-time employees and opened laboratories concerned with the fishing industry and food processing. By 1937, when the Biological Board of Canada became the FRB, it had a distinguished record of marine biological and physical oceanographic research. After WWII the FRB opened new laboratories and expanded its work on physical oceanography, Pacific salmon, Atlantic fish stocks and eastern Arctic marine biology. With the opening of the BEDFORD INSTITUTE OF OCEANOGRAPHY, the expansion of the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys into oceanography, and the recommendations of the Glassco Commission (see GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION, ROYAL COMMISSION ON) in the 1960s, the FRB, which was not affiliated with a department, became an administrative anomaly. Several federal government departments now conduct research originally done by the FRB.

See also FRESHWATER INSTITUTE.


Further Reading

  • K. Johnstone, The Aquatic Explorers: A History of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada (1977).