Current Research Projects

Current CFF Research Projects

Visit each project page to read a project summary, view pictures and videos, and get updates on our current research projects.

Southern New England Juvenile Fish Habitat Research (10/19/2016) -   Project Title: Southern New England Juvenile Fish Habitat Research Year: 2016 Principle Investigators: Liese Siemann Client: BOEM The goal of this project is to provide BOEM with fish catch data and benthic habitat data where dredge survey locations overlap with BOEM lease areas in southern New England waters. Combined catch numbers and relative abundance data from CFF winter dredge surveys and NEFSC spring and fall bottom trawl surveys will be used to determine if winter flounder, windowpane flounder, yellowtail flounder, and monkfish presence might change seasonally. In addition, habitat / substrate preferences of fish species during the months of December through ...read more
A Modified Flounder Sweep for Bycatch Reduction (4/19/2016) - Project Title: A Modified Flounder Sweep for Flatfish Bycatch Reduction in the LAGC Scallop Fishery Year: 2016 Principle Investigators: Chris Parkins & Farrell Davis Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program The goal of this project is to test a modified flounder cookie sweep on the outer bale bars of the scallop dredge in the LAGC commercial scallop fleet and film fish-dredge interactions to monitor the effectiveness of gear modification. Catch data will be recorded during 25 DAS aboard an LAGC vessel during commercial fishing trips where catch is retained. If the gear modification proves successful, future testing can ...read more
Drivers of Dispersal and Retention in Recently Seeded Sea Scallops (4/19/2016) - Project Title: Drivers of Dispersal and Retention in Recently Seeded Sea Scallops Year: 2016 Principle Investigators: Shea Miller & Liese Siemann Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program The encompassing goal of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of a seeding program to enhance and stabilize scallop recruitment while documenting the factors that affect seed survival. Specifically, research will focus on scallop dispersal and survival in offshore populations with an emphasis on the factors influencing dispersal in the days immediately following seeding operations. During each research trip, the experiment will compare scallop retention and habitat conditions at three ...read more
2016 Northern Georges Bank Bycatch Survey (4/19/2016) - Project Title: Optimizing the Georges Bank Scallop Fishery by Maximizing Meat Yield and Minimizing Bycatch Year: 2016 Principle Investigators: Luisa Garcia, Carl Huntsberger, Liese Siemann, Rachel Simpson Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program This project is a continuation of the current seasonal bycatch survey being conducted by CFF. The project will consist of eight 7-day survey trips aboard commercial scallop vessels occurring every odd month from July 2016 through June 2017, as well as a trip in October and June to collect spawning information. Vessels will be equipped with two Coonamessett Farm Turtle Deflector Dredges (CFTDD), one with ...read more
2016 Satellite Tagging of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (4/19/2016) - Project Title: Understanding Impacts of the Sea Scallop Fishery on Loggerhead Sea Turtles through Satellite Tagging Year: 2016 Principle Investigators: Samir Patel & Shea Miller Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program This research focuses on determining the ecology of the loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) that overlap with the sea scallop fisheries of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, specifically in the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) and off Southern New England (SNE) to help reduce harmful interactions. Our primary objectives are to examine sea turtle distributions, behavior and foraging habits, improve sea turtle bycatch estimates, identify factors impacting bycatch rates and ...read more
Offshore Winter Flounder Spawning Research (11/10/2015) - Project Title: Investigating Offshore Essential Fish Habitat of Southern New England Winter Flounder Year: 2015 Principle Investigators: Carl Huntsberger, Liese Siemann, Samir Patel, & Jasper Leavitt Client: Saltonstall - Kennedy Fund The primary purpose of this project is to identify coastal spawning locations of winter flounder in the over fished Southern New England (SNE) stock, with the goal of expanding the essential fish habitat (EFH) to encompass all regions critical to winter flounder spawning.  This new knowledge can help rebuild the stock. It has long been recognized that there is an offshore spawning contingent of winter flounder in SNE, yet this has not ...read more
Improving an Ecosystem Friendly Scallop Dredge (10/14/2015) - Project Title: Improving an Ecosystem Friendly Scallop Dredge Year: 2015 Principle Investigators: Melissa Campbell & Farrell Davis Client: Saltonstall Kennedy Grant Program The Cfarm Low Profile Dredge (CFLPD) is a hydrodynamic dredge design. Increased hydrodynamic efficiency combined with low friction materials should reduce fuel consumption. The lowered height of the frame and forward cutting bar reduces the bycatch of flatfish and prevents the capture of loggerhead sea turtles (Carretta carreta) (Smolowitz et al, 2012). In addition, the prototype CFLPD has demonstrated lower impact to ecosystem component species and sharper size selectivity for scallops. This project will further investigate ways to optimize the CFLPD ...read more
2015 Sea Scallop Resource Enhancement (2/6/2014) - Project Title:Habitat Characterization and Sea Scallop Resource Enhancement Study in a Proposed Habitat Research Area Year: 2015 Principle Investigators: Shea Miller & Liese Siemann Client:NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program     This project is a continuation of our 2013 and 2014 sea scallop enhancement projects. The encompassing goal of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of a seeding program to enhance and stabilize scallop recruitment on Georges Bank while documenting the factors that affect seed survival. This year’s focus will be on further developing our ability to monitor the seeded scallops. Harvested scallops will be marked with squares ...read more