Drop camera survey season begins across three countries

UMass Dartmouth Professor Kevin Stokesbury and his team will conduct simultaneous research cruises in Argentina, Canada, and the US using two versions of the drop camera video system developed by Dr. Stokesbury, students, and scallop fishermen.

SMAST's Marine Fisheries Field Research Group captures imagery of dolphins using underwater camera on pyramid.
Marine Fisheries Field Research Group researchers capture imagery of dolphins using a steel pyramid equipped with a high-resolution drop camera system.

This week, Professors Kevin Stokesbury and David Bethoney, of the Marine Fisheries Field Research Group at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST), began the drop camera survey season in full force with simultaneous research cruises in three countries.

Kyle Cassidy, who completed his MS in Marine Science and Technology at SMAST this spring, is conducting a two-week survey to see if the technique will work on the Argentina scallop resources. “Working with scientists from Clearwater Seafoods, Nova Scotia, Canada and INIDEP, Argentina (Instituto de Desarrollo Pesquero), Kyle will be sailing on the R/V Victor Angelescu to examine offshore beds of the Patagonian scallop,” said Stokesbury, Professor of Fisheries Oceanography and Faculty Advisor at SMAST. “Using the same high-resolution camera system, Research Associate Eric Heupel and MS graduate student Craig Lego will begin the US scallop survey sailing on the F/V Liberty out of New Bedford, MA, with Captains Dan Eilertsen and Alan Cass – fishermen who have worked with us for the past 20 years.”

Additionally, Research Assistant Amber Lisi is sailing out of Larry’s River, Nova Scotia, Canada to work on a smaller version of the drop camera system designed to survey sea cucumber abundance on a joint project with Acadia University and Ocean Pride. “Undergraduate and graduate students will process the data from all these surveys in the digitizing laboratory at the new SMAST East building in New Bedford,” said Stokesbury.

This research is supported with grants from Clearwater Seafood Ltd, NOAA Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside program, and Ocean Pride-Leader Fisheries to UMassD, and a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to Acadia University.

More information about Dr. Kevin Stokesbury:


Departments Fisheries Oceanography Dept, News and Public Information, Research, School for Marine Science and Technology