2013 Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Awards Announced

scallops

Catch made on the F/V Westport using a low profile dredge in a 2011 Sea Scallop RSA project that tested dredge designs that would reduce flatfish bycatch. Read the final report here. The 2013 RSA project "Testing of Scallop Dredge Bag Design Changes For Flatfish Bycatch Reduction" extends the 2011 work. Photo credit: Coonamessett Farm Foundation.

Eighteen researchers from seven different institutions have been awarded 2013 research grants focused on the region’s most valuable commercial fishery, Atlantic sea scallops.  Fourteen projects involving more than 20 scallop and research vessels will be supported with awards totaling just over $12.5 million.

The research program is unique to the Northeast region.   The awards are funded entirely by proceeds from selling a portion of the annual sea scallop quota “set aside” for this purpose.  Special committees of the regional federal fishery management councils set the research priorities and researchers compete for funding. NOAA Fisheries manages the competition, awards, and reporting process but does not retain or use any research set-aside funds.

In 2012, researchers from five institutions were awarded just over $11.5 million for 13 projects.  Including those for 2013, just over $71 million has been awarded and nearly 100 sea scallop research set-aside projects have been conducted since the program started in 2000.

The research results are used to improve sea scallop stock assessments, maintain and further develop the successful rotational management strategy that improved overall economic performance in that fishery, develop fishing gear that reduces bycatch of flounders and sea turtles, and to develop technologies for better sampling and monitoring of sea scallop populations and their habitats.

FY13 Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Projects

Project Organization Principal Investigator(s) Award
Habitat Characterization and Sea Scallop Resource Enhancement Study in a Proposed Habitat Research Area Coonamessett Farm Foundation (CFF) Ronald Smolowitz, Kathryn Goetting, Daniel Ward (CFF); Kevin Stokesbury, Susan Inglis, Changsheng Chen (UMASS/SMAST) $806,436
Understanding Impacts of the Sea Scallop Fishery on Loggerhead Sea Turtles through Satellite Tagging Coonamessett Farm Foundation Ronald Smolowitz $404,592
Seasonal Bycatch Survey of the Georges Bank Scallop Fishery Coonamessett Farm Foundation Ronald Smolowitz, Kathryn Goetting, Carl Huntsberger (CFF);  William DuPaul, Dave Rudders (VIMS); Kevin Stokesbury, Adam Barkley, Steve Cadrin, Susan Inglis, Katherine Thompson (UMASS/SMAST) Roxanna Smolowitz (Roger Williams University) $2,522,307
Testing of Scallop Dredge Bag Design Changes For Flatfish Bycatch Reduction Coonamessett Farm Foundation Ronald Smolowitz $995,712
Preventing Bycatch of Yellowtail Flounder in the Scallop Fishery National Fisheries Institute Thomas M. Grothues, Eleanor A. Bochenek, & Kenneth Roma $338,931
Identifying Source Sink Dynamics in Sea Scallop Populations of the Northwest Atlantic Northeastern University Jonathan H. Grabowski, Bradley P. Harris, Steve V. Vollmer $1,107,448
Scallop Fishery Bycatch Avoidance System University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth - SMAST (UMASS/SMAST) Steven X. Cadrin $637,417
High-Resolution Video Survey of the Sea Scallop Resource in George’s Bank Closed Area II (South) and Delmarva University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth - SMAST Kevin D. E. Stokesbury $866,849
Survey of Persistent Scallop Aggregations and an Examination of Their Influence on Recruitment Using the FVCOM Oceanographic Model University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth - SMAST Kevin D. E. Stokesbury, Changsheng Chen, Pingguo He, Bradley P. Harris $993,844
Combined High-Resolution Video Survey and Biological Sampling Using a Modified Sled Dredge of the Sea Scallop Resource in Nantucket Lightship Access Area University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth - SMAST Kevin D. E. Stokesbury $628,653
A Synoptic Survey of the Sea Scallop Resource in the Mid-Atlantic  Virginia Institute Of Marine Science (VIMS) David B. Rudders $1,592,471
An Assessment of Sea Scallop Abundance and Distribution in the Access Area of the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area Virginia Institute Of Marine Science David B. Rudders $314,628
An Assessment of Sea Scallop Abundance and Distribution in the Northeast George’s Bank Area Virginia Institute of Marine Science David B. Rudders $347,122
Optical Survey of Scallop Resource Areas:  Closed Area I, Closed Area II HAPC, & Contiguous Areas Arnies Fisheries, Inc. Richard Taylor $995,894
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(File Modified Dec. 13 2017)