March 20, 2017 — Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) have been awarded $1,049,044 in research funds through the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program.
Projects will address sea scallop research priorities established by the NEFMC for 2017 and 2018. Among these are resource surveys to estimate scallop biomass, projects addressing bycatch reduction, and work to improve understanding of scallop biology and recruitment.
SMAST received three awards to conduct surveys using its drop-camera array. High resolution surveys of Closed Area I, Closed II, and the Elephant Trunk will be completed, as well as a broad-scale survey in the Mid-Atlantic Bight and Georges Bank. The scallop survey research is led by Dr. Kevin Stokesbury.
Expanding on previous sea scallop gray-meat research, SMAST will attempt to delineate the southern range of gray-meat occurrences and assess the growth, meat weights, and reproductive potential of animals found with gray meat in scallop populations. This project, led by Dr. Daniel Georgiana, will complement ongoing lab-based research funded last year, university officials said.