Project Title: An Optical Assessment of Sea Scallop / Predator Abundance and Distribution in the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area and Surrounds in Coordination with the VIMS Dredge Survey
Principle Investigators: Jason Clermont, John Ceccolini, Ronald Smolowitz, Liese Siemann
Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program
We propose to use the Habcam V3 towed instrument system to conduct the fourth year of optical survey of the large scallop recruitment event south of the Great South Channel. The primary purpose of this survey is to document distribution, survival, and growth of the large cohort of scallops spawned in late 2012. Additional information will be gathered concerning potential predators, bycatch species, and substrate in the areas of the optical transect. Additionally, the track will be adjusted to cover areas included in the VIMS dredge survey and dredge time trials in order to provide scallop density estimates for use in calculating dredge efficiency. Habcam transects will run north and south, crossing the depth contours to mitigate the impact of strong depth stratification of the scallops for the stock assessment. Habcam tracks for the time trials will replicate the dredge tows. Multiple passes will be accomplished to get information on variability.