Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

VIMS Reports Record Number of Young Scallops in Mid-Atlantic

29.05.2012
Recent surveys by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) reveal an unprecedented number of young scallops in two fishery management areas off the mid-Atlantic coast. The high levels of scallop “seed” should generate significant commercial catches in three years, when the scallops are five years old.

That’s good news for the continued success of the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, a model of effective collaboration among scientists, resource managers, and commercial fishing interests that now sustains the most valuable wild scallop fishery in the world. U.S. scallop landings totaled $455.1 million in 2010 (latest available data).

The VIMS surveys are part of the Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program, a unique component of the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan in which commercial scallopers each year set aside proceeds from a portion of their “Total Allowable Catch” to fund scallop-related research. This year’s set aside is for 1.25 million pounds.

VIMS emeritus professor Bill DuPaul, a key figure in establishing the scientist-scalloper partnership in the mid-1980s, says “Scallops are currently valued at $9.35 per pound, so this year’s set-aside will fund more than $10 million of research.” The research is administered through a competitive grant program managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service with input on research priorities from industry advisors.

VIMS scientists, led by Dr. David Rudders of the Marine Advisory Services program at VIMS, successfully competed for five set-aside grants this year, earning funds to conduct high-resolution monitoring surveys in offshore scallop-management areas from Virginia to New England.

The VIMS surveys provide the data needed to determine the abundance and health of adult and juvenile scallops within several offshore zones that are managed on a rotating basis. These so-called “closed areas”—the DelMarVa, Elephant Trunk, Hudson Canyon, Nantucket Lightship, and Georges Bank I and II—are opened to fishing when surveys show a sufficient adult population, and closed when the adult population reaches a pre-defined threshold or when surveys show a large number of young scallops.

Restricting access to the juvenile seed scallops allows scallopers to take advantage of the bivalve’s rapid growth between three and five years of age, when the animals more than double in weight. By waiting, the scallopers get more meat per shell and a more profitable product.

Rudders, DuPaul, and VIMS technician Jessica Bergeron conduct their surveys aboard commercial scallop vessels using a pair of dredges—an 8-foot survey dredge with 2-inch rings and a liner to allow for sampling of the small seed scallops, and a unlined, 14- or 15-foot commercial dredge with 4-inch rings to facilitate comparison with commercial catches. The standard length for each dredge tow is one nautical mile. Each survey trip takes seven to nine days depending on weather and other “unpredictables.”

The team’s reports of unprecedented numbers of seed scallops come from the first pair of this year’s five scallop-monitoring surveys. The first survey took place between April 18-26 within the DelMarVa Closed Area aboard the F/V Stephanie B II out of Seaford, Virginia. The second took place from May 4-9 within the Hudson Canyon Closed Area aboard the F/V Kathy Ann out of Barnaget Light, New Jersey.

DuPaul notes that the team “observed a record-breaking number of scallop seed in both closed areas, including a tow in the northern part of the Hudson Canyon Closed Area that returned more than 13,000 seed.” To put that in perspective, says Rudders “Anything over 100 seed scallops per tow is pretty good, anything above 1,000 is excellent, and anything above 10,000 is remarkable." He adds, "in the course of the work that has been done at VIMS, this was certainly the most seed scallops over a wide area that we have ever observed."

“Our findings are important,” says DuPaul, “because they indicate a successful ‘recruitment’ of one- to two-year-old seed scallops. The Mid-Atlantic scallop resource hasn’t had a significant recruitment event in the past several years, which was clearly worrisome. To see the really small seed is very encouraging, as we don’t often see them at all.”

Because the smaller, year-old scallops are more susceptible to predation, their large numbers don’t guarantee a corresponding increase in future adult populations. But the presence of large numbers of two-year-old scallops is encouraging, as these have a reasonable chance of growing to adult size.

“The two-year-old scallops should generate significant commercial catches in three years,” says DuPaul, “when they are around five years old. The areas of highest seed abundance will be protected from commercial harvest and be designated as a closed area. When the areas open, they will be designated as ‘access areas’ with set harvest limits.”

The team’s next survey begins this week, when they plan to embark from New Bedford, Massachusetts aboard the F/V Celtic for a weeklong trip to the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area. Their two remaining surveys will take place later this spring within the northern part of Georges Bank Closed Area II and the inshore areas west of the Hudson Canyon Closed Area.

The official reports that are generated from the team's 2012 scallop surveys will be presented and reviewed at the August meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council Scallop Plan Development Team. The results will be used for scallop management in 2013 and 2014.

David Malmquist | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.vims.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Emissions from road construction could be halved using today’s technology
18.05.2020 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

nachricht When every particle counts: IOW develops comprehensive guidelines for microplastic extraction from environmental samples
11.05.2020 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

Im Focus: NASA's Curiosity rover finds clues to chilly ancient Mars buried in rocks

By studying the chemical elements on Mars today -- including carbon and oxygen -- scientists can work backwards to piece together the history of a planet that once had the conditions necessary to support life.

Weaving this story, element by element, from roughly 140 million miles (225 million kilometers) away is a painstaking process. But scientists aren't the type...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

New system for widespread availability of green hydrogen

26.05.2020 | Life Sciences

An international team including scientists from MARUM discovered ongoing and future tropical diversity decline

26.05.2020 | Earth Sciences

Inexpensive retinal diagnostics via smartphone

25.05.2020 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>