UMass Dartmouth scientists survey scallops on Banquereau Bank
Clearwater Seafoods recently awarded Research Assistant Professor N. David Bethoney and Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Kevin Stokesbury of the Department of Fisheries Oceanography at the School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST), $47,247 for a video survey to examine the scallop population and benthic environment on Banquereau Bank.
The SMAST-Industry cooperative video survey provides quality-controlled estimates of scallop size, distribution, density and biomass, to assist in the management of the scallop resource in the Banquereau Bank area. Furthermore, the survey produces information on the habitat and ecology of the area, which may lead to a better understanding of fishing impacts and species interactions.
Since 1999, with the aid of the commercial sea scallop industry, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and the sea scallop Research-Set-Aside program, SMAST has completed over 150 video cruises surveying Georges Bank, the Mid-Atlantic Bight, and several areas in Canadian waters.
“On the surface, this project is similar to many others we have conducted in that its main goal is to provide fishing industry partners with the best available science to help manage scallop harvest,” said Bethoney. “However, Banquereau Bank is much further north than we have surveyed in the past and it is a transition area between temperate and arctic species. This has allowed us to observe different animal assemblages and habitat types, and has presented new challenges, such as differentiating between scallop species.”