Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Division of Marine Fisheries
251 Causeway Street, Suite 400
Boston, MA 02114
Fax (617) 626.1509
November 8, 2006
The Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries) is seeking assistance from fishermen to clear designated areas of fixed gear as MarineFisheries begins its fourth year of the Industry-Based Survey (IBS) on Gulf of Maine Cod Pilot Study. The IBS begins on November 16th, but please note that the survey schedule may be affected by adverse weather conditions. Maps and tables that outline tow locations, coordinates for the stations, survey schedules, and updates identifying when the tows at each station have been performed are available from the following resources:
If you do not have access to the internet, maps and coordinates of tows can be mailed on request. The Massachusetts component of the survey will occur in Massachusetts’ territorial and near-coastal waters from Chatham, MA northward to the New Hampshire boarder and from 10 to 75 fathoms.
The IBS is designed to collect information regarding the distribution of Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod through a collaborative effort between the commercial fishing industry, MarineFisheries, Maine Department of Marine Resources, New Hampshire Fish and Game, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. It is funded through the Cooperative Research Partners Program. Although the primary species of concern is GOM cod, additional data will be collected to enhance the sustainable management of other groundfish and lobster stocks within the GOM.
The survey vessels will be completing tows that are 200 feet wide and 1.5 NM long and as close as possible to the designated stations. Many of the tows are not straight line tows rather they follow an edge or substrate type. MarineFisheries requests fishermen to voluntarily assist by clearing the tow lines to be temporarily free of fixed gear during the given time period. If a tow has yet to be established, coordinates for a single point have been given and it is also requested that fishermen voluntarily assist by clearing a 1.5NM diameter circle around the single point to be temporarily free of fixed gear during the time period. (Detailed survey information is available on the MarineFisheries website at http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dmf/programsandprojects/ibsurvey.htm#ibs. Survey information will be updated regularly so check back often).
The survey includes the same four otter trawl vessels that were used as sampling platforms in previous years. These vessels can be reached on VHF Channel 16 and/or 13 or vessel cell phone number shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Otter Trawl Vessels for the IBS for GOM Cod
|Vessel||Homeport||Doc #||Hull Color||Owner||Captain||Cell Phone|
|Jocka||Cundy's Harbor, ME||939745||Green||Terry Alexander||Steven York||(207) 841-8231|
|Lisa Ann II||Newburyport, MA||1139403||Black||Jim Ford||Jim Ford||(978) 479-7014|
|Titan||Portland, ME||1051164||Green||Michael Love||Russel DesJardins||(207) 749-8750|
|Lady Jane||Gloucester, MA||608078||Blue||Russell Sherman||Russell Sherman||(508) 783-2621|
MarineFisheries thanks all fishermen who observed the request for the removal of fixed gear in the tow locations during last year’s survey. As you know, efforts to increase the data regarding GOM cod distribution will assist in better management of this species. Results for the 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 survey are available at a GIS-based website: https://fish.nefsc.noaa.gov/ibs/. All fishermen are encouraged to view this information, as it is anticipated to contribute to the management of the GOM cod fishery in the future.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.