The Marine Fisheries Field Research Group studies the population dynamics of marine fish and invertebrates, including their spatial distribution, abundance, life-history parameters, and habitat. They also study the impacts of harvesting, gear effectiveness, and developing alternative fishing strategies.
Since 1999, we have completed 138 video cruises surveying Georges Bank and the Mid-Atlantic (>950 days at sea), with support from the commercial sea scallop industry, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MADMF), and the sea scallop Research-Set-Aside program (NOAA grants). The video library contains footage from over 300,000 georeferenced video samples. This unique database covers the entire scallop resource (~55,000 km2) from 2003 through 2011, representing a time series of nine years. Further, it includes numerous video surveys on a finer scale focusing on scallop aggregations primarily in closed areas of Georges Bank and the Mid-Atlantic. This data set provides assessments of scallop and other macroinvertebrate densities, and sediment and habitat distributions in closed and open areas of Georges Banks from 1999 onward. Our data has been used in sea scallop fisheries management plans and the Habitat omnibus. Our research has also expanded into lobsters, and industry driven by-catch avoidance systems for both scallop/yellowtail flounder and sea herring/river herring fisheries.
To date this research has been published in 25 peer-reviewed articles and 2 book chapters. It is the focus of 11 MS and 3 PhD graduate student theses.
Principal Investigator: Kevin Stokesbury, PhD