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Gulf of Maine Times

Vol. 2, No. 2

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Gulf of Maine Times

Summer 1998 - Volume 2, Number 2

Scientists hit the deck to take stock of Gulf fisheries

Image: Oceanographer Glenn Strout sorts the catch during the fourth leg of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center's spring groundfish survey. Scientists will use data gathered on numerous fish species sampled throughout the Gulf of Maine to assess the Gulf's fish stocks. Gulf of Maine Once you've measured enough silver hake fish about the size and shape of a stubby cigar to fill a five-gallon bucket, you're ready to do something else. But scientists collecting the information that will be used to asses the condition of the Gulf of Maine's fisheries know that the more repetitious their work, the better a foundation they are creating for fishery management decisions.

On a recent National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) groundfish survey through the Gulf of Maine, scientists based in NMFS' Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) in Woods Hole cruised an eight-day loop aboard Albatross IV, collecting samples of nearly three dozen species at about 70 pre-selected stations between Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick.

NEFSC has conducted resource cruises out of Woods Hole since 1885, and standardized bottom-trawl surveys since 1963. On trips along the New England and Mid-Atlantic coast, inshore and offshore, NMFS scientists collect biological information on commercial finfish and shellfish stocks populations that are associated with particular migration patterns, spawning areas, and fisheries. Oceanographic and meteorological information is also collected on each cruise.