2018 Habcam: An Optical Assessment of Sea Scallop Abundance, Distribution and Growth in the Nantucket Lightship Scallop Management Area

Project Title: An Optical Assessment of Sea Scallop Abundance, Distribution and Growth in the Nantucket Lightship Scallop Management Area

Year: 2018

Principle Investigators: Jason Clermont, John Ceccolini, Liese Siemann

Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program

We propose to use the Industry-based HabCam v3 towed instrument system to conduct an optical survey of the scallop resource in the Nantucket Lightship (NLS) scallop management area (Figure 1). This survey will build upon recent optical surveys of the large scallop
recruitment event south of the Great South Channel. This proposed survey follows four previous surveys (2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017) conducted by the HabCam Group and Coonamessett Farm Foundation, Inc. (CFF). The survey proposed herein will take place in June or July 2018 and will be used to provide estimates of the abundance and distribution of sea scallops, culminating with a preliminary estimate of total and exploitable biomass to be completed in August 2018. The primary objective of this proposed survey is to document the distribution, survival, and growth of sea scallops, with particular attention to the 2012 year class. Additional information will be gathered on the distribution of potential scallop predators, bycatch species, and substrate in the areas of the optical transect.