Habitat mapping

Habitat maps help us at Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) to understand our natural resources and the distribution of different animals.

DMF conducts research and analyzes data to map marine fisheries habitats in Massachusetts waters. These maps help us understand the distribution of natural resources throughout the waters of the Commonwealth. Once the habitats are identified and mapped, they can be more adequately assessed for vulnerability to impacts. We conduct several different assessments with our most active in-water research focused on seafloor mapping.

Seafloor mapping

DMF uses small boats, primarily for daytime surveys of nearshore coastal habitats such as eelgrass. Our intstruments include:

  • Biosonics DT-X
  • Humminbird sidescan sonar
  • Klein sidescan sonar, in partnership with MIT Seagrant
  • Several video and photo systems

We also use existing data to develop and inform our mapping.

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Important fish resource areas

In order to identify areas with higher than average resource value, important fish resource areas were mapped using the Division of Marine Fisheries trawl survey data.

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