3MTSim

Marine Mammal and Maritime Traffic Simulator

A multi-agent model to assist the integrated management of human activities in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park and the proposed St. Lawrence Estuary Marine Protected Area in Quebec

The 3MTSim Project was funded by an NSERC Strategic Grant in 2006-2009, awarded to L. Parrott (PI), J.A. Landry and D. Marceau, in collaboration with Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the GREMM (Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals).  The project is still ongoing and has continued to evolve under the dedication and hard work of the following people:

Principal investigators:
Lael Parrott, The University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC (formerly at Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec)
Jacques-André Landry, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal, Québec

Collaborators:
Guy Cantin, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institut Maurice Lamontagne, Mont Joli, Québec
Nadia Ménard, Parks Canada Agency, Tadoussac, Québec
Robert Michaud, Groupe de recherche et d’éducation sur les mammifères marins (GREMM), Tadoussac, Québec
Suzan Dionne, Parks Canada Agency, Québec

Collaborators (data sharing):
Dany Zbinden, Mériscope Marine Science Centre, Portneuf-sur-Mer, Québec
Daniel Gosselin, Parks Canada Agency, Québec
Veronique Lésage, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institut Maurice Lamontagne, Mont Joli, Québec

Former Students and Post Doctoral Fellows:
Clément Chion, PhD (2006-2011), PDF (2001-2012), École de technologie supérieure & Université de Montréal
Philippe Lamontagne, MSc (2008-2009), École de technologie supérieure & Université de Montréal
Cristiane Cavalcante de Albuquerque Martins, Doctoral candidate (2007-2014), Université de Montréal
Samuel Turgeon, BSc (2006-2009), MSc (2009-2011), Université de Montréal
Botao Zheng, MSc (2006-2013), University of Calgary

Other collaborators:
Benoit Dubeau, Parks Canada Agency, Tadoussac
Jeannie Giard, GREMM, Tadoussac
Michel Moisan, GREMM, Tadoussac

Field work:
Ambra Blasi, Kate Hawkes, Mark Chikhani, Jamie Raper, France Morneau, Mouna Petitjean, Maita Lisboa de Moura, Breena Apgar-Kurtz, Maria E. Morete, Pauline Gauffier, Natalia Mamede, Sarah Duquette (GREMM), Manuela Conversano

Assistance with model development:
Alex D’Auteuil Charest, École de technoloigie supérieure

We are grateful to the Corporation des Pilotes du Bas-Saint-Laurent and the following tour companies for their participation in the project: Croisières AML Inc., Croisière 2001 Inc., Groupe Dufour Inc., Croisières Charlevoix Inc., Les Croisières Essipit Inc., Croisières du Grand Héron, Les Écumeurs du Saint-Laurent, Société Duvetnor Ltée.

Additional thanks to:
Daniel-André Delisle, operations manager, INNAV (Canadian Coast Guard), Sébastien Lemieux (McGill University), Pierre Hersberger (Mer et Monde écotours).

Daniel Langlois, director of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park, and all of the Parks Canada team at Tadoussac who have contributed to the project.

 

Overview

The project involved the creation of a model of a portion of the St. Lawrence estuary (covering the Saguenay St. Lawrence National Marine Park and the proposed St. Lawrence Estuary Marine Protected Area) in order to simulate the spatiotemporal movement of marine mammals and boat traffic. By allowing users to test the effects of different zoning scenarios for boat traffic (e.g., seasonal closures, speed limits, regulations concerning the observation of marine mammals), this model serves as a decision support tool for the sustainable management of human activities in this unique marine ecosystem. The model may also be used to gather information about the potential effects of boat traffic on marine mammals, for example, proximity of heavy boat traffic to ecologically critical zones or the co-occurrence in space and time between boats and marine mammals.  The model is currently being used to inform scenarios and decision-making by the Saint Lawrence Estuary Working Group on Marine Transport and Marine Mammal Protection (G2T3M), which is a collaborative, multipartite (industry, government, research) group seeking solutions to mitigate the impacts of and risks of collision between maritime vessels and whales in the estuary.  Many contributors to the 3MTSim project are also members of this working group.

The model is created using an agent-based approach, in which each vessel and marine mammal in the system is modelled as a distinct entity. An extensive database of over 10 years of whale sightings & individual tracking data as well as tracking data on maritime traffic in the estuary has been used to calibrate and validate the model.  The model is in perpetual evolution and is regularly improved as new data become available.

3MTSim was written in Java using the Repast Simphony v.1.2 libraries.  It has recently been migrated to Repast Simphony 3.  Repast is an agent-based modelling environment.  Click here to learn more about Repast.

Click here to see a video of 3MTSim in action on YouTube.

Click here to see a 3D visualization generated by 3MTSim (also on YouTube).

Figure 1: The 3MTSim interface showing an areal view of the study area using the WorldWind virtual globe. Coloured dots are boats and whales that move around as a simulation progresses. Bright dots are whales at the surface; pale dots are whales under the surface. The size of the dots has been exaggerated to facilitate viewing.

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Figure 2: The 3MTSim interface showing the bathymetry in 3 dimensions. Coloured dots are boats and whales that move around as a simulation progresses. Bright dots are whales at the surface; pale dots are whales under the surface. The size of the dots has been exaggerated to facilitate viewing.

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Documents

(articles, theses, reports, posters)

Articles

Note that most of the links provided are directed to the publisher’s websites.  To obtain copies of any manuscripts for which you do not have access, please write to Lael Parrott (lael.parrott@ubc.ca)

Chion, C., Landry, J.A., Parrott, L., Marceau, D., Lamontagne, P., Turgeon, S., Michaud, R., Martins, C.C.A., Ménard, N., Cantin, G., and Dionne, S. 2014. Insights from agent-based modelling to simulate whale-watching tours: Influence of captains’ decision strategy on whale exposure and excursion content. In: Higham, J., Lusseau, D. and Bedjer, L. (Eds.), Whale-Watching, Sustainable Tourism and Ecological Management. Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, United Kingdom).ISBN: 9780521195973.

Chion, C., Cantin, G., Dionne, S., Dubeau, B., Lamontagne, P., Landry, J.A., Marceau, D., Martins, C.C.A., Ménard, N., Michaud, R., Parrott, L. & Turgeon, S. 2013Spatiotemporal modelling for policy analysis: Application to sustainable management of whale-watching activities. Marine Policy, 38: 151-162.

Parrott, L., Chion, C., Gonzales, R. and Latombe, G. 2012Agents, Individuals and Networks: Modeling Methods to Inform Natural Resource Management in Regional Landscapes. Ecology & Society, Ecology & Society, 17 (3): 32. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol17/iss3/art32/

Parrott, L., Chion, C., Martins, C.C.A., Lamontagne, P., Turgeon, S., Landry, J.A., Zhens, B., Marceau, D., Michaud, R., Cantin, G., Menard, N., Dionne, S. 2011A decision support system to assist management of human activities in the St. Lawrence River Estuary, Canada. Environmental Modelling and Software, 26: 1403 – 1418. This article provides an overview of the 3MTSim model and is a good place to start for general information about the modelling approach.

Chion, C., Lamontagne, P., Turgeon, S., Parrott, L., Landry, J.A., Marceau, D., Martins, C.C.A., Michaud, R., Ménard, N., Cantin, G., Dionne, S. 2011. Eliciting cognitive processes underlying patterns of human-wildlife interactions for agent-based modelling. Ecological Modelling, 222(14): 2213-2226.

Parrott, L. 2009. Understanding and managing the landscape as a complex system: What can bottom-up modelling approaches contribute? Proceedings of the Place & Purpose Symposium, Spatial Sciences Institute Biennial International Conference, 30 September – 1 October, 2009. Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia. 15 pp.

Anwar, M.; Jeanneret, C.; Parrott, L. and Marceau, D. 2007. Conceptualization and implementation of a multi-agent model to simulate whale-watching tours in the St. Lawrence estuary in Quebec, Canada. Environmental Modelling and Software, 22(12):1775-1787. This article describes a prototype for 3MTSim.

Articles in the popular press

Solid Collaboration to Protect Marine Mammals in the St. Lawrence Estuary. 2013. InfoOceans, June – July 2013/Volume 16/Number 3.

New computer programme promises to save the whales. 2011. UdeM News, October 11, 2011.

Software aims to stop whale crashes. 2011. CBC News, October 11, 2011.

Quand les baleines rencontrent les bateaux. 2011. Forum. Numéro 6, le 3 octobre 2011.

Modéliser le comportement des baleines. 2009. Portrait de baleines, Le bulletin de l’estuaire : observation, recherche et conservation. Vol. 8, no 9.

Modélisation de la dynamique spatiotemporelle des mammifères marins dans l’estuaire. 2008. Portrait de baleines, Le bulletin de l’estuaire : observation, recherche et conservation. Vol. 7, no 14

Modélisation spatiale et temporelle du trafic maritime dans l’estuaire. 2008. Portrait de baleines, Le bulletin de l’estuaire : observation, recherche et conservation. Vol. 7, no 15

Theses

Zheng, Botao. 2013. Interactive visualization to reveal activity patterns of marine mammals and boat traffic in the St. Lawrence Estuary in Quebec, Canada. MSc Thesis.  University of Calgary.

Turgeon, Samuel. 2011. Modélisation de l’utilisation de l’habitat à petite échelle du béluga du Saint-Laurent en fonction de l’abondance et de la distribution de ses proies: Le cas de l’embouchure de la rivière Saguenay et de la baie Sainte-Marguerite. MSc Thesis, Université de Montréal.

Chion, C. 2011. An agent-based model for the sustainable management of navigation activities in the Saint Lawrence Estuary. PhD Thesis. École de technologie supérieure, Montreal, Canada. Download PDF from the university database.

Lamontagne, P. 2009. Modélisation spatio-temporelle orientée par patrons avec une approche basée sur individus (A spatially-explicit individual-based model using the pattern-oriented approach). Master’s thesis. École de technologie supérieure, Montreal, Canada. Download PDF from the university database.

Selected presentations

Chion C, Cantin G, Désaulnier J, Boulanger F, Drouin P, Michaud R, Lépine J, Parrott L, Ménard N, Nellis P, Turgeon S, Martins CCA, Landry J-A (2012). Building and simulating management scenarios for maritime traffic: A multi-stakeholder approach to mitigate ship-whale collisions in two marine protected areas of the St. Lawrence River, Québec, Canada. Oral presentation at International Coastal Zone Canada 10th Conference 2012, Rimouski (QC), Canada, June 9th-12th.

Parrott L, Girard P, Latombe G, Chion C, Martins CCA (2012). Hybrid ecological models to inform management and conservation decisions in landscapes inhabited by endangered species. Oral presentation at EcoSummit 2012, Colombus (OH), USA, Sept. 30th- October 5th.

Parrott L, Chion C, Martins CCA, Lamontagne P, Turgeon S, Landry J-A, Zhens B, Marceau D, Michaud R, Cantin G, Ménard N, Dionne S (2011). Agent-Based Modelling of Marine Mammals and Maritime Traffic to Inform Management and Policy Decisions in Marine Protected Areas. Poster at the 2nd International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas, November 2011, Martinique.

Martins, C.C.A., Turgeon, S., Blasi, A., Parrott, L. & Michaud, R. Blue whales fine scale behavior and exposure to whale watching boats in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, Canada. Poster presentation at the 2nd International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas, November 2011, Martinique.

Turgeon, S., Ménard, N., Martins, C.C.A. & Parrott, L. Finescale modeling of beluga whales habitat use in relation to prey in two of its intensive use areas located in the Saguenay St Lawrence Marine Park Canada. Poster presentation at the 2nd International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas, November 2011, Martinique.

Chion C, Parrott L, Dubeau B, Marceau D, Landry J-A, Turgeon S, Michaud R, Martins CCA, Ménard N, Cantin G, Dionne S (2011) How agent-based modelling can be used to inform environmental management of a marine park. Oral presentation at the 2011 International Cartographic Association (ICA) workshop. Vancouver (BC), August 10-12th.

Chion C, Parrott L, Turgeon S, Lamontagne P, Martins CCA, Landry J-A, Marceau D, Michaud R, Ménard N, Cantin G, Dionne S (2011). An agent-based model to support the sustainable management of a complex social-ecological system. Oral presentation at the New England Complex Systems Institute’s International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS), Boston (MA), June 26th – July 1st.

Parrott L, Chion C, Martins CCA, Lamontagne P, Turgeon S, Landry J-A, Marceau D, Michaud R (2011). Agent-Based Modelling of Marine Mammals and Maritime Traffic to Inform Management and Policy Decisions in Marine Protected Areas. Poster at the 2nd International Marine Conservation Congress hosted by the Society for Conservation Biology Marine section, Victoria (BC), Canada, May 14th – 18th.

Martins, C.C.A., Turgeon, S., Parrott, L., Michaud, R. Blue whales breathing rates and exposure to whale-watching activities inside the Saguenay – Saint-Lawrence Marine Park –Québec – CA Oral presentation at the 2nd International Marine Conservation Congress, May 2011, Victoria. 2nd International Marine Conservation Congress. May 2011. p.188 – 188.

Chion C et al. (2010). Un modèle du trafic maritime comme système d’aide à la décision pour accroître la protection des baleines dans l’estuaire du fleuve Saint-Laurent. Oral presentation at Géodiversité Symposium, Montréal, Québec, Canada, March 26th.

Chion C, Lamontagne P, Turgeon S, Parrott L, Landry J-A, Marceau D, Martins CCA, Michaud R, Ménard N, Cantin G, Dionne S (2009). Analysis of emerging primary and secondary patterns for the selection and validation of a spatially explicit agent-based model. Oral presentation at International Society of Ecological Modelling (ISEM) Conference, Quebec City, Québec, Canada, October 6th– 9th.

Landry J-A, Parrott P, Chion C, Martins CCA, Lamontagne P, Turgeon S, Michaud R, Marceau D, Ménard N, Cantin G, Dionne S (2009). Supporting ecosystem management using agent-based modelling of whalewatching activities in the Saint-Lawrence Estuary. Poster at International Society of Ecological Modelling (ISEM) Conference, Quebec City, Québec, Canada, October 6th – 9th.

Lamontagne, P., Chion, C., Martins, C.C.A, Turgeon, S., Parrott, L., Landry, J.A., Michaud, R., Marceau, D., Lessage, V., Girard, J., Ménard, N., Cantin, G., Dionne, S. 2009. Spatially-explicit individual-based model of marine mammal movements using the pattern-oriented modeling approach. Oral Presentation to the International Society for Ecological Modelling, October 2009, Québec, Canada. Download PDF.

Chion C, Lamontagne P, Turgeon S, Parrott L, Landry J-A, Marceau D, Michaud R, Ménard N, Martins CCA (2008). Pattern-oriented modelling strategy to elaborate a spatially-explicit agent-based model dynamically guided by human decision-making. Oral presentation at International Conference on Ecological Informatics 6 (ICEI), Cancun, Mexico, December 2nd -5th.

Parrott L, Chion C, Martins CCA, Lamontagne P, Turgeon S, Landry J-A, Marceau D, Michaud R, Cantin G, Ménard N, Dionne S (2008). Agent-based modelling of marine mammals and boat traffic in the St. Lawrence Estuary, Canada. Oral presentation at International Conference on Ecological Informatics 6 (ICEI), Cancun, Mexico, December 2nd -5th.

Martins CCA, Lamontagne P, Parrott L, Landry J-A, Marceau D, Chion C, Turgeon S, Michaud R, Ménard N, Dionne S, Cantin G (2008). Conceptualizing an individual-based model to simulate marine mammal behaviour in the St. Lawrence Estuary, Canada. Oral presentation at Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Symposium, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, September 29th–October 1st.

Chion C, Martins CCA, Lamontagne P, Turgeon S, Parrott L, Landry J-A, Marceau D, Michaud R, Ménard N, Lesage V, Giard J, Dionne S (2008). Modélisation des déplacements des bateauxd’excursions aux baleines et des mammifères marins dans le parc marin du Saguenay–Saint- Laurent. Poster at Scientific Symposium of the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park. Rivière-du- Loup, Québec, Canada, October 2nd-3rd.

Chion C, Landry J-A, Parrott L (2007). La Gestion Raisonnée du Trafic Maritime sur le Saint-Laurent. Oral presentation at Doctoriales 2007 de Bretagne, Vannes, France, November 16th-23rd.

Chion C, Turgeon S, Parrott L, Landry J-A, Marceau D, Michaud R, Cantin G, Dionne S (2007). Agent- Based Modelling of Cruise Operators’ Behaviour. Oral presentation at International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS’07), Boston, MA, USA, October 28th-November 2nd.

 

Selected reports

Chion, C., Parrott, L., Landry, J.-A. 2012. Collisions and co-occurrences between cargo ships and whales in the St. Lawrence Estuary: Evaluation of mitigation scenarios and recommendations. Report submitted to the Working Group on Maritime Transport and Marine Mammal Protection in the Saint Lawrence Estuary, Parks Canada & Fisheries and Oceans Canada. December 2012. 80 pages. In French.

Parrott, L., Chion, C., Martins, C.C.A., Lamontagne, P., Turgeon, S., Landry, J.A., Zhens, B., Marceau, D., Michaud, R., Cantin, G., Menard, N., Dionne, S. 2010. 3MTSim: An agent-based model of marine mammals and maritime traffic to assist management of human activities in the Saint Lawrence Estuary, Canada. Report presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission. 62nd Annual Meeting, Agadir, Morocco, June 21-25, 2010. 22 pages. Report #SC/62/ForInfo35.  Download PDF.

Chion, C.; Turgeon, S.; Michaud, R.; Landry, J.-A. et Parrott, L. 2009. Portrait de la Navigation dans le Parc Marin du Saguenay–Saint-Laurent. Caractérisation des activités sans prélèvement de ressources entre le 1er mai et le 31 octobre 2007. Report presented to Parcs Canada. December 2009. 86 pages. Download PDF.

Turgeon, S.; Parrott, L.; Martins, C.C.A. 2008. Analyse spatio-temporelle de la cooccurrence entre les bélugas et le trafic maritime à l’embouchure de la rivière Saguenay de 2003 à 2007. Report presented to Parcs Canada. Département de géographie, Université de Montréal, 37p. Download PDF.

 

 

This is the official website of 3MTSim. Copyright Lael Parrott, 2013.

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