3c. Audience

1969/12/31 - 20:00

NEBO data products will be of immediate and direct use to at least five organizations: The New England Fishery Management Council, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, the Mass Fisherman’s Partnership, and the Census for Marine Life. This proposal is the result of the integration of end user unique data requirements and unique public interfaces for outreach and education.
New England Fishery Management Council, Leslie Ann McGee and Sally McGee,
Habitat Technical Team staff, Omnibus Habitat Amendment and Habitat Committee Chair.
The NEFMC is the organization currently leading both the policy discussion and direction, with regard to habitat and area management, over the broadest area of the northeast marine environment under the Sustainable Fisheries Acts of 1996 and 2006. The Habitat Amendment of 1999 was a direct response to the SFA and the ongoing effort (Omnibus Habitat Amendment) is well on its way through the Council process. Existing needs include imaging of diverse substrate types, the interrelationships of taxa, change over time, and populations of species not well sampled by existing trawl surveys, e.g. small redfish in boulder piles, and other species, wolfish and cusk, also known to inhabit the harder more rocky bottom. NEBO will fulfill that need and provide appropriate data products, including time series data on how these habitats are changing.
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, David Wiley, Science Director.
SBNMS is a natural heritage marine protected area managed to allow multiple uses with a primary purpose of resource protection. Understanding the state and dynamics of biological diversity within the site is a critical information need. The NEBO project will produce high-resolution and wide area spatial coverage that has been unavailable to date. While existing research and monitoring programs in SBNMS utilize image data, they are limited spatially, analysis is labor intensive, and results have long lead times. This project will provide data on seafloor communities and patterns of diversity that are linked to coincident measures of seafloor landscapes and oceanographic features with the promise of data and analytical products in relatively short time periods, leading to the potential of annual assessments of the state of seafloor communities across wide areas of the Sanctuary. Time series data based on large area sampling with high resolution imagery will allow managers to ascertain the status and distribution of both dominant and rare species (fishes and invertebrates) within the sanctuary, and understand when and perhaps why, changes in dominance occur. Such data products will be an important source of information leading to more strategic approaches for ecosystem-based sanctuary management.
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Mike Fogarty, Thomas Noji, Robert Reid, Vince Guida.
The Northeast Fisheries Science Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service is responsible for providing scientific advice in support of fisheries management for the Northeast continental shelf of the United States. Assessments of resource status are based on analysis of information derived from fishery-dependent and fishery independent sources. The high resolution spatial information provided by NEBO will provide invaluable insights in scales of spatial heterogeneity of resource species which will assist in interpreting standard resource surveys designed to provide integrated views of resource abundance and demographic characteristics. This approach is already showing considerable promise in evaluation of scallop resource dynamics. NEBO will further provide critical information for evaluating habitat associations important in defining essential fish habitat. It can further provide information on resource species not effectively sampled using traditional survey methods. All three applications can potentially provide direct benefits in meeting mandated resource management requirements in the near term. The insights possible in the proposed studies of benthic-pelagic coupling, trophic dynamics, and the functional role of habitat address important considerations in moving toward an ecosystem approach to management in this region. Overall, this program has the potential to develop new research and management tools, which will significantly improve our ability to support NOAA and regional stakeholders.
Gulf of Maine Census of Marine Life (CoML), Lew Incze, Chief Scientist.
This program focuses on marine life in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, the western Scotian Shelf, the adjacent Slope Sea, and the western New England Seamounts. Primary goals are to increase knowledge of regional biodiversity through a series of field projects and data synthesis, and to help enable ecosystem-based approaches to ocean management. The latter goal involves enhancing data and information exchange systems to include a broad suite of biological data (the Gulf of Maine Ocean Data Partnership), and establishing a framework that links biodiversity and ecosystem function to management objectives. Development of the supporting framework for EAM involves participation by many of the region’s (U.S. and Canadian) scientists and resource managers through working groups and workshops. A new initiative to be undertaken 2007-2009 is to build an ecosystem services-based model of biodiversity and ecosystem function for the complex of near-coastal banks and ledges in the southwestern Gulf of Maine, including Stellwagen Bank, the Western Gulf of Maine Closed Area, and Jeffreys Ledge. NEBO will provides critical data for this effort.
Gulf of Maine Mapping Initiative, Sara Ellis, Megan Tyrrell
The NEBO program will directly support the mission of The Gulf of Maine Mapping Initiative (GOMMI). GOMMI’s chief goal is to map the sea floor of the Gulf of Maine from the intertidal zone to the upper continental slope to provide a geospatial framework for managing the region’s marine resources. GOMMI intends to mobilize the best technical approach to data acquisition, data processing, product development, and data delivery in a coordinated and efficient way. The management of fisheries and aquaculture, hydrocarbon exploration and development, Marine Protected Areas, and climate change will benefit from the NEBO mapping initiative. Mitigation of conflict arising from multiple uses of the Gulf of Maine can best be facilitated by using appropriate geospatial information. NEBO represents a regional tool, which would help GOMMI to promote regional marine habitat mapping.
Massachusetts Fisherman’s Partnership, David Bergeron, Olivia Free.
Research workshops conducted by the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership (MFP)’s collaborative research “FISHER” program identified the importance of developing a scientific understanding of how benthic physical and biological characteristics interact with pelagic processes in the western Gulf of Maine, the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Georges Bank, and Nantucket Sound areas. Fishermen are keenly interested in the scientific analysis of the ecological affects of areas closed to fishing and other management strategies. To support the NEBO effort, the MFP will coordinate and convene workshops of commercial fishermen and scientists to review past research, the project’s goals, and make recommendations pertaining to datasets and end-user products the project could generate to support fisheries and ocean management.