WHOI Researchers to Take Part in Continental Shelf Study

WOODS HOLE – A long-term study which will research the relationship between coastal ecosystems and human interaction with it in the Northeast will be conducted for at least five years by scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), University of Massachusetts, and others.

The $6 million study will pay particular attention to how the food web is structured and any shifts in response to environmental changes.

WHOI Biologist Dr. Heidi Sosik said that the basic findings will have big impacts on anybody who is involved with fishing and other coastal industries.

“Ecosystems are very dynamic and not static, and they’re influenced by much larger-scale processes,” she said. “We’ll be trying to look at these processes on large scales and examining how they influence our local waters.”

The project will take advantage of technologies already in use off the coast of Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard, and at the edge of the inner and outer coastal shelves.

Underwater microscopes, observatories and fine instruments will be used to take the measurements.

A science team will conduct four research cruises per year to observe a cross-shelf study area, using advanced imaging systems to assess phytoplankton and zooplankton populations.

The scope of the study will stretch from the waters off North Carolina to Maine.

Sosik said that such a broad sample site will paint a more accurate picture of the complex relationships found in the ocean.

“We need to use as much scientific knowledge as we can to best manage our interaction with the ecosystem: what kinds of fish we harvest and where,” Sosik said.

The project will officially begin in September and could be reinstated for decades.

About CapeCod.com NewsCenter

The award-winning CapeCod.com NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy