UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) booth sparked the attention of many visitors during this past weekend’s 12th Annual Working Waterfront Festival on the New Bedford Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 3.
In the midst of inviting weather, abundant food and great entertainment, the SMAST Working Waterfront team greeted spectators with a plethora of exhibits showcasing research in the areas of ocean acidification, bycatch avoidance systems, conservation and sustainable use of fisheries resources, and other ocean and estuarine sciences.
This year, SMAST partnered with the Division of Marine Fisheries, Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, and local gear manufacturers, and exhibited several fishing gear models in a model flume tank under s huge tent. A major highlight of the exhibit contained models of grid systems, including a German-style flatfish excluding grid, and a Sort X grid.
Both grid systems are modified from European devices by SMAST Professor Pingguo He and his student Chris Rillahan, and his collaborators to reduce catch of low quota flounders (e.g., yellowtail flounder) and juvenile haddock on Georges Bank. These grid systems are devices for two recently NOAA-funded projects that will be carried out in the field in the spring of 2016.
Additionally during the festival, the SMAST crew discussed the use of gliders to measure ocean activity, and tailored a fisheries lesson for the younger population who learned about the behaviors of various types of fish during a “How well do you know your fish” activity. The weekend-long exhibit was staffed by SMAST faculty, students, and staff.