sightings:Location, ID numbers
KENNEBUNK, ME - Fishermen are being asked to keep an eye out for "drifters" in the months ahead and report any sightings to the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation (GOMLF).
16 drifters will be released by lobstermen off the coast of
Fishermen and mariners who sight the units are asked to report the drifter location using a toll-free automated system, said Erin Pelletier, GOMLF project manager.
Pelletier has been speaking to fishermen's groups, explaining the purpose of the drifter deployments, which is one phase of the foundation's ongoing eMOLT (environmental monitors on lobster traps) project.
If a fisherman comes upon a drifter floating in the water, he is asked to record the five-digit drifter identification (ID) number that is located on the 5' length of vertical PVC pipe.He should also check and record the loran or GPS position.
drifter should be returned to the water, Pelletier said,
if it has to be picked up to read the ID number.
deployments will begin June 1.Lobstermen
helping with the drifter sets and their drop sites include:Nick
Lemieux, Cutler, ME; Steve Robbins,
As sightings are reported they will be recorded and available to be followed on the web site <www.emolt.org>.Technology similar to Mapquest will be used to make the tracks readily viewable.
The eMOLT project, in which lobstermen collect oceanographic data including temperature and salinity, receives cooperative research funding by the Northeast Consortium.
The drifter phase is a pilot program to test the feasibility of fishermen deploying drifters and calling in sightings, rather than the usual high cost technique of contracting a research vessel and using satellite technology.
goal of this phase is to study surface drift patterns and their impacts
on the lobster population, particularly helping to better understand lobster
larval transport, Pelletier said.The
data will be used to verify and improve oceanographic models in
For more information, visit the web site <www.emolt.org> or contact Pelletier at (207) 985-8088 or e-mail <email@example.com>./cfn/
Peter K. Prybot photo
Lobsterman Steve Robbins,
left, and Jim Manning of the
The drifters, which were built by marine science students at the Southern Maine Community College, are made from PVC pipe and rods, floats, hardware such as hose clamps, cotter pins, and washers, submerged sails, and flags.