Memorial-invented equipment tested in largest flume tank in the world

Jul 14th, 2016

By Jeff Green

Dr. Max Liboiron
Memorial-invented equipment tested in largest flume tank in the world

Researchers at Memorial are encouraging people to do their part to help protect the ocean and environment.

An interdisciplinary team led by Dr. Max Liboiron, Sociology; Dr. Paul Winger, Marine Institute (MI); and Dr. Josh Lepawsky, Geography, were at the MI’s flume tank on Wednesday, July 13, to test new surface trawls, invented by Memorial to monitor marine plastics.

Interdisciplinary and international

The team also includes student researchers from Canada, the United States and Iceland.

Everyone has a role

The group tested the new equipment as part of their work with the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR).

Dr. Liboiron, the Chair in Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, says everyone can play a role in monitoring marine plastics by creating homemade trawls.

“The reason that we’re doing this is that there are plastics in every single ocean in the world—the Arctic, Newfoundland, Labrador—but you can’t see them because 93 per cent of them are smaller than a grain of rice,” she told the Gazette.

“What we have to do is stop them from getting into the ocean to begin with and to do that we need to know what kind of plastics are there and that’s why these trawls exist.”

Dr. Liboiron encourages people who want to know how to make their own trawls, to contact her lab.



230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000