The sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) fishery in the US EEZ of the northwest Atlantic Ocean has been, and still is, one of the most valuable fisheries in the United States. Understanding the scallop population and quantitatively assessing the physical impacts of dredging are important for the continued successful management of the fishery.

Incident Mortality Estimates of Sea Scallops from AUV-Based BACI Surveys

  • The captains of the F/V Christian and Alexa are experts in the art of navigating the scallop-rich waters of the Atlantic Ocean
  • Scallops
    Atlantic sea scallops are the nation’s highest-valued single species commercial fishery
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The sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) fishery in the US EEZ of the northwest Atlantic Ocean has been, and still is, one of the most valuable fisheries in the United States. Understanding the scallop population and quantitatively assessing the physical impacts of dredging are important for the continued successful management of the fishery. 

Dr. Arthur Trembanis and other members of the Robotic Discovery Laboratories at the University of Delaware is conducting a series of ongoing studies aimed at quantifying dredge impacts by using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) to survey dredge lanes before and after fishing activities and comparing with control locations. These surveys include both side-scan sonar and visual imagery which will be used to determine scallop densities and mortality within controlled areas.

Conducted from a commercial sea scallop fishing vessel, each 10-day mission involves students (both undergraduate and graduate), staff, and faculty from the university, as well as a full commercial fishing crew to perform dredging activities.

In this project, a Teledyne Gavia AUV, equipped with high-resolution cameras, side-scan sonar, and a suite of oceanographic instruments is used to capture accurate measurements of the sea-bed, and water conditions in and around the fishing zones. Deployments before, after and at a control (undisturbed) site are then analyzed to estimate the abundance and size-distribution of sea scallops at discrete sites to facilitate a direct examination of the impact of dredging with respect to incidental scallop mortality. This quantitative information will then assist in the management of rotational scallop access areas thereby aiding the recovery and maintenance of sea scallop population.

Additional team members: Dr. Douglas Miller, Hunter Brown, Val Schmidt (University of New Hampshire), Trevor Metz, Danielle Ferraro, Ken Haulsee

Links

>> Learn more about the Robotic Discovery Laboratories
>> Read more about this project on UDaily

Featured Faculty

Arthur Trembanis

Arthur Trembanis picture

Associate Professor Oceanography

Project Team

Hunter
Brown
Douglas
Miller
 

CEOE School & Departments

School of Marine Science & Policy

Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Investigating the interactions between people and the environment and the processes that explain the location of human and natural phenomena.

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