Plumbing the Depths

Is EBFM the future of fisheries management?

Is EBFM the future of fisheries management?

A few years ago, dragger fishermen were calling John Pappalardo, CEO of the Fishermen’s Alliance, saying they were catching a lot of fluke.

There is a good market for the tasty, white fish, but fishermen were frustrated because they were throwing them overboard.

“They don’t have permits to catch them,” said Pappalardo.

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Manning and Maynard push fishermen science forward

Manning and Maynard push fishermen science forward

Years ago, fisheries scientist George Maynard was working with a fisherman so interested in the ocean’s temperature – and how it would affect his catch – that he created a unique method to figure it out.

“He had been using an infrared heat gun from Harbor Freight Tools to take the temperature of fish as they came up in his nets,” Maynard remembered.

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Calabrese nets good news for cod

Calabrese nets good news for cod

“We just completed our third video trawl survey in the western Gulf of Maine this May. For three years we’ve tracked a large year class of cod from 2019 that has continued to show healthy growth without major mortality. 

The 2019 young of the year were observed in multiple surveys (they slip through our net’s bigger mesh). Again in 2020 we saw areas with high densities of fish that were approximately the size we would expect if they had been young in 2019.”

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Small Boats. Big Science. The Cape’s Arctic connection

Small Boats. Big Science. The Cape’s Arctic connection

When scientists were poised to install the Coastal Pioneer Array, a system that depends on 10 moored monitors as well as underwater gliders and autonomous underwater vehicles, fishermen raised alarms about all that instrumentation in the ocean.

Glen Gawarkiewicz, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute senior scientist who relies on data from the array, remembers the “hullabaloo” and one meeting where researchers explained how information collected would increase oceanic understanding.

Fishermen were convinced. One captain, Fred Mattera, executive director of Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island, asked a question: Why is the temperature of the continental shelf 72 degrees in December?

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Tuna will migrate through wind farms – will it matter?

Tuna will migrate through wind farms – will it matter?

The waters off the Cape have long been popular for tuna, marlin and sharks, as well as the fishermen that chase them. Recently, those waters have proved attractive for wind energy companies as well, and it’s unclear what that means for the fisheries.   

“If you put in hundreds of turbines, what is the cumulative impact?” asked Michael Pierdinock, who serves on the U.S. International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas Advisory Committee.

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The Circle of Research and Scallops

The Circle of Research and Scallops

After a day at work Mel Sanderson hustled home, ate a quick dinner, and set off immediately for the Chatham Fish Pier to meet Captain Bob Keese who was coming in from a scallop trip.

When she arrived she found out from another fisherman that he had just finished unloading and had already left to put his boat , F/V Sandra Anne, on the mooring. But he had left something for her:

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MEET RACHEL BARRALES

MEET RACHEL BARRALES

Rachel Barrales was in middle school when she first saw the Keeling Curve at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, which shows carbon dioxide levels in the environment increasing to nosebleed heights.

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