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
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
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