NOAA Awards More Than $4 Million for Collaborative Scallop Research

Funding Supports Four UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science & Technology Research Projects

UMass Dartmouth's School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) was recently awarded $4,426,228 for collaborative research on scallops, as part of NOAA's Northeast Cooperative Research Program's 2014-2015 Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside (RSA) Awards. This RSA award program is unique to federal fisheries in the northeast region by granting awardees Set-Aside allocations for certain quota managed or days-at-sea (DAS) managed fisheries. The allocations, in this case sea scallops, are then harvested and sold or auctioned to provide funds for the research.

"The RSA funding will further strengthen the portfolio of important research at SMAST. The awards encompass a broad scope of efforts including bycatch avoidance, studies of the incidence of gray meat scallops, and continued video surveys of scallop populations," said SMAST Dean Steven Lohrenz.

Research Projects Funded by RSA Awards:
Scallop Fishery Bycatch Avoidance System: $678,955
Principal Investigators: Steven Cadrin, Catherine O'Keefe, Greg DeCelles

Broadscale Video Survey of the Open Areas of Georges Bank: $1,368,126 (2014); $1,368,126 (2015)
Principles Investigators: Kevin Stokesbury, N. David Bethony

High-Resolution Video Survey and Biological Sampling of the Northern Area of Closed Area I: $438,898
Principal Investigators: Kevin Stokesbury, Susan Inglis, N. David Bethony

Tracking the Occurrence of Gray Meat in Atlantic Sea Scallops: $572,123
Principal Investigators: Kevin Stokesbury, Susan Inglis, Dan Georgianna

"Research set-aside grants are an important way we can support our local scallop fishery, and I'm very glad that several outstanding Massachusetts institutions will receive significant funding this year," said Senator Elizabeth Warren. "These grants are a key investment that will make sure critical research projects can continue, and will help improve the management of scallops fisheries in the Commonwealth."

"Engagement of stakeholders and robust science are essential to sustainable fisheries and fishing communities," said Senator Edward J. Markey. "The collaborative research projects supported by these grants will help work towards these goals by giving our fishermen tools to reduce bycatch and increasing our understanding of sea scallops in the Northeast."

"It is often said that the only true way to seamlessly conserve and comprehend our fisheries is through collaborative research," said Congressman Bill Keating. "Today's announcement brings just that -- furthered academic partnership between the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and SMAST. Cooperation between the invaluable resources and expertise housed in both of these institutions is surely guaranteed to further advance our understanding of this vital economic resource."

"The funding provided by NOAA is essential to support critical science being done at SMAST in collaboration with the fishing industry," said Dr. Kevin D. E. Stokesbury, who serves as Chair of SMAST's Department of Fisheries Oceanography. "The collaborative nature of how this award will be allocated signifies that we achieve far more cooperatively in fulfilling the need for research efforts that could improve the outlook of the fishing industry."

The focus at SMAST is on interdisciplinary basic-to-applied marine sciences and the development of related innovative technologies. In addition to the scholarly marine science and technology communities, the SMAST mission also emphasizes interaction with regional industry, and government and non-governmental agencies on compelling regional marine-related issues and technological development.

News and Public Information