Sea Grant College Program
Durham, NH 03824-3512
7 January 2002
Dear Northeast Consortium,
After having completed the distribution of temperature probes in phase I and having deployed at least one salinity probe in phase II, the eMOLT project is now fully operational with nearly one hundred monitoring sites throughout the Gulf of Maine. The objective now is to simply maintain these long-term sites and fine-tune our record keeping procedures. We strive to minimize the effort required by lobstermen in accurately, systematically, and efficiently documenting deployments. So that data can be collected, processed, and archived for many years to come, we now propose "Phase III: Data Management Centers". The goal will be to setup small computer stations at several locations along the coast (at various fishermen's coops, harbormaster offices, etc) where eMOLT participants can get help in downloading, documenting, and viewing their data. Industry representatives will be trained in all aspects of the eMOLT operations including hardware and software. They will train participants (ie lobstermen) to enter data in paperless media (ie with electronic logging devices and web-based forms). With a minimal amount of equipment (laptops connected to the internet), the industry representatives will ensure that all deployments are formally documented in a standardized way so that all environmental records are properly stored in the publicly available eMOLT database. These industry representatives will report to their respective lobster association representatives (MaLA, MeLA, DELA, or AOLA) with quarterly reports on the status of the local eMOLT records. As in the previous two phases, the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation will act to distribute the funds and equipment to the associations. While most of the funding (<$100k total) will go directly to the industry representatives and individuals to train those representatives, administrative support will also be provided at the association and foundation levels. Travel money will be requested for all "representatives" for quarterly meetings to discuss both the logistics and the scientific-results of the project. Additional travel money will be requested for "participants" to partially cover the cost of attending annual forums where they will be provided a comprehensive briefing/analysis of the data collected over the preceding year.
We are committed to this project. The participating lobstermen have demonstrated tremendous enthusiasm for the study . We hope to sustain that interest and provide them with data products in exchange for their efforts.