Please select your home edition
Edition
Marina Exchange 728x90 1

Sea Scallop Camera-based survey expanded on Georges Bank

by NOAA Fisheries 22 Jul 2019 14:44 UTC
ea scallops on the ocean bottom photographed using a towed camera array © NOAA Fisheries

A planned camera-based survey of sea scallops on Georges Bank has been expanded to include more area.

The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, School for Marine Science and Technology will add the Northern Flank and Closed Area II North to this year's planned survey work around Georges Bank to track sea scallop aggregations.

The survey, which uses a drop-camera array, is also covering the Great South Channel, Nantucket Lightship, and the Closed Area I Access Area.

"Taking on this additional work while in the middle of a busy survey season exemplifies the School for Marine Science and Technology's dedication to supporting the scallop fishery," said Jon Hare, director of NOAA Fisheries' Northeast Fisheries Science Center. "It's also a great example of the importance of our strong partnerships in the region that provide science to support management of this valuable resource."

Research Set-Aside Program Funds Added Work

The University's survey is funded by the sale of sea scallops that are set aside from the annual catch limit through the Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program. The New England Fishery Management Council established this unique program to address research questions that support management of the sea scallop resource.

Awards are made in pounds, not dollars, and no federal funding is provided. Instead, proceeds generated from the sale of set-aside scallops are used to fund research activities and compensate participating vessels.

Multiple Surveys Inform Sea Scallop Assessment

Sea scallop populations off the Northeastern U.S. support one of the region's most valuable fisheries. There are multiple scientific surveys of this resource, some using dredge sampling and others using cameras. Scientists and fishery managers consider data from these surveys to estimate current stock size and condition, set quotas, and develop other fishery management measures.

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center's 2019 sea scallop survey finished in mid-June aboard the R/V Hugh R. Sharp. The vessel and crew completed planned dredge sampling throughout the Georges Bank area and added more stations in the Great South Channel.

The federal survey also uses a towed camera known as "HabCam" to photograph sea scallops on the bottom. The plan was to use HabCam in the Great South Channel, on the Northern Flank, and in Closed Area II North, but an uncharted boulder and foul weather precluded this.

The New England Fishery Management Council subsequently requested additional photographic data sampling of the Northern Flank and Closed Area II North if possible. Comprehensive survey data are a hallmark of sea scallop assessments and directly feed into the development of management measures. This makes survey work a high priority for the council and the sea scallop industry.

The grant awarded to the University in May for Georges Bank-area surveys was increased in early July by 6,560 pounds of sea scallops ($62,320) to support five more research days to cover the additional areas. The original grant was for 45,809 pounds of sea scallops ($435,190).

In addition to tracking sea scallop aggregations, this project is also supporting development of an open-source computer algorithm for automating scallop counts and measurements from the images gathered.

Related Articles

Progress of habitat restoration projects
Check in on the progress of projects in North Carolina, South Carolina & Alaska The projects were funded through the National Fish Habitat Partnership. They demonstrate our commitment to engage anglers in habitat restoration efforts, and support access to sustainable saltwater recreational fishing opportunities. Posted on 21 Jun
Large whale entanglements report confirmed in US
More than 100 large whale entanglements were confirmed nationally in 2018 Many large whale populations are increasing in the United States, but entanglements in fishing gear or marine debris are a growing threat to the continued welfare and recovery of these species. Posted on 20 Jun
Economic effects of oyster reef restoration
Restored oyster reefs could boost the blue crab population - and the economy Oysters play critical roles in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem—by filtering water as they feed and by providing habitat and forage for other Bay species. Posted on 16 Jun
Atlantic highly migratory species by the numbers
Facts about recreational Atlantic highly migratory species fishing that may surprise you Anglers fish for highly migratory species from the rocky shores of New England to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. HMS fishing is important to the cultural, social, and economic life of Atlantic coastal communities. Posted on 15 Jun
National Fishing and Boating Week 2020
We celebrate one of nation's most cherished pastimes: saltwater recreational fishing National Fishing and Boating Week took place June 6-13, 2020 and highlights the importance of recreational boating and fishing in our nation. National Fishing and Boating Week occurs each year during the first full week of June. Posted on 14 Jun
Autonomous vehicles help scientists estimate fish
An innovative scientific approach to survey Alaska pollock this year Scientists are capitalizing on existing technological capabilities and partnerships to collect fisheries data. This will help fill the information gap resulting from the cancellation of FY20 ship-based surveys due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Posted on 5 Jun
Leading the Fight Against IUU Fishing
June 5 marks International Day for the fight against IUU Fishing Every day, the United States and our partners across the world work together to crack down on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud. Posted on 5 Jun
President signs order promoting American seafood
Calls for the expansion of sustainable U.S. seafood production The President signed a new Executive Order promoting American seafood competitiveness and economic growth to propel the United States forward. It calls for the expansion of sustainable U.S. seafood production. Posted on 9 May
New state of the ecosystem reports
Human uses affect ecosystem productivity but also fishing communities and regional economies Two newly issued reports provide a snapshot of the Northeast U.S. Shelf Ecosystem. They look at everything from phytoplankton production at the bottom of the food web to the fishery harvests at the top. Posted on 13 Apr
West Coast salmon fishing and southern residents
Chinook salmon fishing is a mainstay of the West Coast economy Southern Resident killer whales have long pursued the biggest and most nourishing Chinook salmon from coastal Pacific waters. Chinook salmon fishing is also a mainstay of the West Coast economy, generating nearly $72 million in income last year. Posted on 12 Apr
Raymarine AUS Element HV FOOTERMarina Exchange FOOTER 1