Project Title:Habitat Characterization and Sea Scallop Resource Enhancement Study in a Proposed Habitat Research Area
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 of SOLAS reflective tape and then released at the enhancement site using a controlled dumping mechanism to limit initial dispersal of the scallops. The enhancement sites will be surveyed using a autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) once before seeding and then twice daily following seeding for up to 14 days. The AUV will conduct day surveys to determine dispersal and density rates of the seeded scallops and night surveys to identify predators. The AUV footage will then be analyzed using a custom image analysis program in R developed by CFF to annotate scallops and predators.