Environmental Monitors on Lobster Traps

Jim Manning (NEFSC Woods Hole, james.manning@noaa.gov)
Bonnie Spinazzola (Atlantic Offshore Lobster Association, aola-bonnie@mediaone.net)
David McCarron (Gulf of Maine Lobster Association, gomlf@gwi.net)

Project Summary

Phase I: temperature
As of this writing, there are 58 individuals with probes in 47 distinct geographic locations around the Gulf of Maine who have thus far contributed a total of 458296 temperature observations to the eMOLT database.

Thanks to cooperation of  4 lobster associations (Atlantic Offshore, Massachusetts, Maine, and Downeast) lobstermen are deploying instruments all along the coast from the deep canyons south of Nantucket  to the  mouth of the St. John.  An effort is now underway to ensure that all deployments are properly documented  (lat,lon,catch,etc) on either a standardized mooring log, web-served forms, or the Thistle HMS-410 electronic data logger.  Association representatives are attending near-monthly meetings to download  data and assist participants in record-keeping procedures.

Phase II: salinity
As of this writing, several lobstermen have expressed interest in deploying salinity probes.  We have thus far conducted tests on the salinity probe of choice (Seabird Microcat) both in the Woods Hole Aquarium and off the dock.  At least one probe has been secured to a trap and recovered from the deep water on the southern side of Georges Bank to demonstrate the logistics of the operation.  These units are state-of-the-art instruments recording salinity with at least 0.01 PSU accuracy  but require regular cleaning to maintain quality data.  For this reason, the participating lobstermen are scheduled for a day-long training sessions in Woods Hole to become familiar with the instrumention and the process of taking regular water samples for calibration purposes.

The details of the project are posted on the project website emolt.html  including links to, for example, "What's New", "Results from the Field", "Data Access", "Training Sessions Scheduled", and much more.   All the data is stored in a ORACLE database.  All the temperature time series data and plots are accessible on the web.  Questions can be directed to any of the PIs noted above.

For further information contact: James.Manning@noaa.gov

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