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.

Understanding the Impacts of the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery on Loggerhead Sea Turtles (5/5/2017) - Project Title: Understanding the Impacts of the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery on Loggerhead Sea Turtles Year: 2017 Principle Investigators: Farrell Davis, Ricky Alexander and Liese Siemann Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program Our primary objectives are to examine sea turtle distributions, behavior and foraging habits, improve sea turtle bycatch estimates, identify factors impacting bycatch rates and determine the role loggerheads play in impacting sea scallop health. The information collected will aid in evaluating loggerhead abundance estimates, developing scallop-harvesting strategies that minimize harm to sea turtles, and defining critical habitats for loggerheads. To build upon the success of prior ...read more
Development of an Extended Link Apron: A Broad Range Tool for Bycatch Reduction (5/5/2017) - Project Title: Development of an Extended Link Apron: A Broad Range Tool for Bycatch Reduction Year: 2017 Principle Investigators: Farrell Davis, Ricky Alexander and Liese Siemann Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program The goal of this project is to further develop a gear design utilizing two links to increase the inter-ring spacing in the dredge apron. The extended-link configuration encourages the mechanical sorting of pre-recruit scallops and flatfish. Previously, CFF tested a configuration that increased both the vertical and horizontal inter-ring space by orienting the extensions in both directions, creating a Bi-directional Extended Link Apron (BELA). While the ...read more
Habcam – Year 4 (5/5/2017) - 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 Year: 2017 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 ...read more
Improving a Low Profile Dredge Using Computational Fluid Dynamics and Flume Tank Testing (5/5/2017) - Project Title: Improving a Low Profile Dredge Using Computational Fluid Dynamics and Flume Tank Testing Year: 2017 Principle Investigators: Liese Siemann, Farrell Davis Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program Our main objective will be developing an improved low profile dredge design based on flume tank testing and computer simulation results. We plan to (1) simulate the performance of different dredge configurations using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models, (2) develop a modular scaled dredge to examine the impacts of changing the geometries of scallop dredges, and (3) test the scaled dredge in multiple configurations in a flume tank at scaled ...read more
2017 Northern Georges Bank Bycatch Survey (5/3/2017) -   Project Title: Optimizing the Georges Bank Scallop Fishery by Maximizing Meat Yield and Minimizing Bycatch Year: 2017 Principle Investigators: Luisa Garcia, Liese Siemann 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 even month from July 2017 through June 2018, as well as trips in September and January. Vessels will be equipped with two Coonamessett Farm Turtle Deflector Dredges (CFTDD), one with an experimental 5-row apron and a 1.5:1 twine ...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