Project Title: Habitat Characterization and Sea Scallop Resource Enhancement Study in a Proposed Habitat Research Area- Year Two
Client: NOAA/NMFS Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside
This project was a continuation of the 2013 sea scallop enhancement study. The 2014 research proposed to continue monitoring the seedbed that was established in CAI during the 2013 project as well as to transplant scallop seed from NLCA to the same site. First, we evaluated the long-term success of the previous year’s transplanting experiment based on survival, growth, and dispersal of scallop seed. Then we transplanted seed to the CAI transplanted seedbed to increase scallop density at a productive and protected site. Overall the project was a success. All of the objectives were met with minimum modification. We seeded approximately 1.64 million scallops on Closed Area I, measured high densities of scallops immediately after seeding, and observed very little mortality. Environmental conditions measured on site supported the selection of the area as scallop habitat. Scallop densities decreased during the post-seeding surveys, dropping from the high values observed 4 days after seeding. Dispersal rates were higher than expected on the seeded sites, and the drop camera survey was no longer able to detect a significant increase in scallop density after the first post-seeding survey.