Researchers Conducting Longline Survey in Gulf of Maine

Vessel captain Eric Hesse helps Giovanni Gianesin recover the GoPro video camera system in its custom built housing. The camera helps “ground truth” the different types of bottom at pre-selected stations. Photo courtesy of NOAA Fisheries/Calvin Alexander, NEFSC.

DENNIS – A Bottom Longline Survey is underway in the Gulf of Maine to collect data on fish species that prefer rocky habitat and are not well sample by trawl gear.

Two commercial longline fishing vessels and staff from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s Cooperative Research Branch left Sesuit Harbor in East Dennis October 10 on the first of several two- to four-day trips.

The survey is expected to last a few more weeks.

This is the fourth straight year the survey has been conducted. In the first three years, the survey has collected more than 6,200 life history samples and 1,300 samples for detailed reproductive and ageing studies.

Thirty-six species were caught in the first three years of the survey, 17 of which are considered “data-rich” species.

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