NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center and the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) have announced that three collaborative projects being led by Dr. Kevin Stokesbury, Professor of Fisheries Oceanography at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST), have been selected for funding through the 2018-2019 Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside (RSA) program.
According to the NOAA/NEFMC press release, projects will address research priorities established by the NEFMC, with a particular focus on resource surveys. Stokesbury, UMass Dartmouth Professor of Fisheries Oceanography Dr. N. David Bethoney of SMAST, and members of the Marine Fisheries Field Research Group will conduct surveys using a drop-camera array. Through these awards, the team plans to conduct high-resolution surveys of the Nantucket Lightship, Closed Area I, Great South Channel, and select portions of the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area.
Project summaries and award amounts
Tracking scallop aggregations in Closed Area I and Great South Channel
33,626 lb. scallops | est. value: $353,073 | research cost: $84,065
Examining the scallop population and habitat in select portions of the Gulf of Maine
48,922 lb. scallops | est. value: $513,680 | research cost: $122,305
Examining sea stars dynamics in extremely dense scallop beds of the Nantucket Lightship
38,288 lb. scallops | est. value: $402,027 | research cost: $95,721
About the RSA program
The NEFMC established the sea scallop RSA program to address research questions that support management of the sea scallop resource. The Council sets the research priorities and researchers compete for funding through a federal grant competition managed by NOAA Fisheries. Federal funds are not provided to support the research.