More commercial fishing vessels added to co-op research study fleet

Trend likely to expand, continue going forward

WOODS HOLE, MA – NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s (NEFSC) Northeast Cooperative Research Program (NCRP) is adding an additional 10-12 commercial fishing vessels to its 37-vessel study fleet this summer.

The study fleet has been in operation since 1999 serving as data collectors for physical oceanographic studies and specialty studies on an as-needed basis.

The fleet collects catch, retention, discard, and location data on a tow-by-tow basis for a continuous, year-round data set.  Temperature and depth data is also collected.

This year NCRP plans to add additional fixed gear fishermen, such as longline, jig, and gillnet fishermen, to continue the development of data sensors for use on fixed gear.

About 35 draggers currently participate in the fleet, including large and small mesh bottom trawlers, along with two gillnetters.  In addition to getting more fixed gear representation, NCRP was also interested in adding more vessels in the Gulf of Maine.

In addition to getting fixed gear representation, NCRP was also considering adding vessels in the Gulf of Maine.

Currently, the fleet includes herring vessels that fish more than six months and squid winter and summer trimester small mesh bottom trawlers, which also pick up skates, scup, yellowtail, winter and summer flounder.  Adding fixed gear would expand the species data, and provide data collection in a fixed location over time…

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