Past Research Projects

Past CFF Research Projects

Visit each project page to read a project summary, view pictures, and access the final report. All available CFF final reports can also be found on our Final Reports Page.

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
Development of an Ecosystem Friendly Scallop Dredge Bag (4/19/2016) - Project Title: Development of Ecosystem Friendly Scallop Dredge Bags: Tools for Long-Term Sustainability Year: 2016 Principle Investigators: Farrell Davis, Chris Parkins, Melissa Campbell Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program The goal of the project is to develop an alternative gear design to reduce the impact of fishing effort on pre-recruit scallops. The project will utilize six 7-day research trips to test an extended link apron, adding two consecutive links between the 4 inch rings in the vertical and horizontal direction. Extended link design increases inter-ring spacing of the apron encouraging the mechanical sorting of pre-recruit scallops. Gear testing will ...read more
The Impact of Dredge Bag Modifications on Flatfish Bycatch (10/14/2015) - Project Title: Determining the Impacts of Dredge Bag Modifications on Flatfish Bycatch in the LAGC Scallop Fishery Year: 2015 Principle Investigators: Chris Parkins & Farrell Davis Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program The goal of this project is to test bag and/or twine top modifications in the Limited Access General Category (LAGC) commercial scallop fleet and film fish-dredge interactions to monitor the effectiveness of gear modifications. Catch data will be recorded during 24 DAS aboard limited access general category (LAGC) F/V Mister G during commercial fishing trips where catch is retained.
Investigating the Impacts of Speed on Dredge Performance (10/14/2015) - Project Title: Determination of the Impacts of Dredge Speed on Bycatch Reduction and Scallop Selectivity Year: 2015 Principle Investigators: Farrell Davis, Chris Parkins, & Melissa Campbell Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program The Coonamessett Farm Turtle Deflector Dredge (CFTDD) has proven to be successful in reducing the bycatch of loggerhead sea turtles (Carretta carreta) without a significant reduction in scallop catch. Different bag designs tested in combination with the CFTDD frame have been effective at reducing finfish bycatch as well. However, some fishermen have reported that the CFTDD is less fuel efficient and that it “fishes” better at higher speeds (5.5 knots compared ...read more
Cable TED Research (10/14/2015) - Project Title: Cable Turtle Excluder Device (TED) Research Year: 2015 Principle Investigator: Chris Parkins Client: The Protected Species Branch (PSB) of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) For this project a comparative experimental design will be used to test a NMFS-supplied cable turtle exclusion device (TED) in otter bottom trawl gear directed on summer flounder to evaluate the catch retention of the targeted species and to document any operational issues.  The objective is to find a technology that excludes sea turtles while maintaining targeted catch. The project will consist of 40 alternate paired tows (80 ...read more
Incidental Mortality in the Sea Scallop Fishery (10/6/2015) - Project Title: Estimating Incidental Mortality in the Sea Scallop Fishery Year: 2014-2015 Client: NOAA/NMFS Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Click to download the final report   The goal of this project was to more accurately estimate scallop incidental mortality using a variety of underwater survey vehicles. All surveys were conducted in southern New England waters in areas with mainly sandy substrate using a standardized Coonamessett Farm Turtle Deflector Dredge (CFTDD) for all tows. Study locations were surveyed before and after dredge tows using the REMUS 100, an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the CFF Benthos MiniRover remotely operated ...read more
2014 Real-Time Electronic Bycatch Reporting (10/6/2015) - Project Title: Real-Time Electronic Bycatch Reporting Pilot Project Year: 2014 Client: Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission       In order to better monitor Allowable Catch Limits (ACL) of sea scallops and Sub-ACLs of bycatch species allocated to the limited access fleet, a real time electronic reporting system, FLDRS, was developed by NMFS. The system was developed to allow the US scallop fleet to regularly report their tow data, bycatch, and scallop catch electronically to a database accessible by the Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF), an industry organization, as well as to NMFS, NERO and NEFSC. Furthermore, the data would available anonymously to the entire fleet ...read more
2015 Satellite Tagging of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (10/2/2015) - Project Title: Understanding Impacts of the Sea Scallop Fishery on Loggerhead Sea Turtles through Satellite Tagging Year: 2015 Principle Investigators: Samir Patel & Shea Miller Client:  NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program This years sea turtle tagging project has continued to add invaluable data to CFF's already abundant dataset on juvenile loggerhead sea turtles. The focus of this project is to evaluate the distribution and behavior of loggerhead sea turtles to better understand their interactions with the scallop fishery. This improved understanding will help reduce turtle bycatch in scallop dredges. This years project consisted of three dedicated research trips. Two trips took place ...read more
2015 Northern Georges Bank Bycatch Survey (10/1/2015) - Project Title: Optimizing the Georges Bank Scallop Fishery by Maximizing Meat Yield and Minimizing Bycatch Year: 2015 Principle Investigators: Carl Huntsberger, Liese Siemann, Jasper Leavitt, & Rachel Simpson Client: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program CFF, in collaboration with VIMS, RWU, and SMAST, is undertaking the examination of temporal and spatial influences on bycatch of groundfish species, specifically yellowtail flounder, in the Atlantic sea scallop fishery on Georges Bank. The primary objective is to quantify yellowtail flounder bycatch rates in comparison to scallop meat yield, with the goal of optimizing the harvest of scallops while minimizing impacts to the yellowtail ...read more
2014 Satellite Tagging of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (5/30/2015) - Project Title: Understanding Impacts of the Sea Scallop Fishery on Loggerhead Sea Turtles through Satellite Tagging Year: 2014 Client: NOAA/NMFS Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Click to download the final report During the 2014 research season, we spent a total of 12 days at sea, spread across three trips, to deploy satellite transmitters, take biological samples and track turtles using the ROV. Through our collaboration with NEFSC, we deployed 19 transmitters on loggerheads during the first trip in late May and 1 transmitter during the research trip in early September. During this September trip, we tracked a leatherback turtle with a radio transmitter and a temperature-depth logger. We also ...read more