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Methods

  • Due to depth restrictions and gear conflicts, coast could not be surveyed with traditional research vessels. 
  • Ten lobster boats were equipped with Simrad ES70 echosounders (38/200kHz). 
  • Lobstermen were trained on how to operate the acoustic software and how to record data. 
  • Boats surveyed 60nm of transects each 8 weeks Sept – Nov recording acoustic backscatter data (Photo, Figure below). 
  • Survey will be repeated in future years to look at changes in abundance and distribution of schools.


Photo: The survey was a collaboration between commercial fisherman and scientists, promoting discourse and the development of a rapport. Pictured is the F/V Lil More Tail, owned and operated by Curt Brown.


Figure: Acoustic backscatter results from week 1 of survey over the entire study site. Color and size represent Nautical Area Scattering Coefficient (NASC) which can be used as a proxy for biomass in the water column. These results are from early in the season (September 12, 2012) and show that there are more fish in the northern region than in the southern region.