We empower new and innovative approaches to marine resource challenges within the Gulf of Maine. Our specialized and responsive programs are designed to cultivate creative problem solving while advancing proactive solutions. By engaging a diversity of interests, we aim to inspire innovation through thoughtful experimentation and technology transfer among traditional and emerging industries.
The implementation of sector management in New England’s groundfish fishery sparked dramatic changes in every aspect of the industry, forcing an unprecedented level of innovation and adjustment. Our work focuses on providing a range of technical, convening, and outreach services to New England’s commercial fishing industry through various workshop and training offerings.
Our work offers New England’s fishing communities and seafood businesses opportunities to explore market-based solutions to increase the profitability of smaller, more sustainable catches. We maintain an active research program that contributes to the sustainability of New England fisheries and the capacity of working waterfronts to innovate and compete.
Innovative fishing gear technology can help support the long-term and sustainable profitability of New England's fishing industry. These new tools help modernize the fleet and put fishermen in a better place to tackle future challenges, such as changes in fish quota, escalating fuel prices, or the migration of groundfish due to climate change.
Fishery dependent data is a key component of successful fisheries management. New and shifting data needs are straining the current data system, which was created over many years to support various fisheries, and management plans. In an effort to modernize the existing data systems, we are working with industry stakeholders through a NOAA-led initiative to improve data quality, usefulness, and delivery.
With federal funding for at-sea monitoring waning, New England’s groundfish industry is exploring electronic monitoring as a potential cost-effective alternative to on-board human observers. This innovative new system collects catch and discard data using cameras, computers, and sensors installed on fishing vessels. We are currently working closely with fishermen in an effort to develop and test an affordable, open-source electronic monitoring system.
Since the transition to sector management in 2010, at-sea monitoring costs remain a major concern for New England’s groundfish industry. With federal funding slated to expire soon and costs expected to shift to the industry, we are working with industry stakeholders to develop cost effective and comprehensive at-sea monitoring alternatives.