NOAA Fisheries is cancelling four research surveys off the East and Gulf Coast of the United States. The cancellations are attributed to challenges and uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to NOAA.
The cancelled surveys include:
Autumn Bottom Trawl Survey (NEFSC)
Summer Ecosystem Monitoring Survey (NEFSC)
Northern Shrimp Survey (NEFSC)
Summer and Fall Plankton Survey (SEFSC)
The Cancelled Surveys
The Summer Ecosystem Monitoring Survey run out of the NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center captures seasonal changes in the ocean environment, information used for multiple scientific inquiries. Over its 33-year history, some seasons have been missed and the number of annual surveys has varied, and methods have been developed to bridge these data gaps.
The Northern Shrimp Survey is conducted aboard the R/V Gloria Michelle, a 72-foot ship maintained by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. A major use of survey data is setting shrimp fishery quotas. The shrimp fishery is closed through 2021.
The Autumn Bottom Trawl Survey, also run out of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, has been conducted since 1963. It provides crucial resource and ecosystem data, especially for fishery stock assessments. A future bottom longline survey and new work on industry-based sources of data may help mitigate data gaps.
The Summer/Fall Plankton Survey, run out of NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center covers the entire continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico region from Brownsville, Texas, to Key West, Florida. It is the only fishery independent survey available to measure the spawning capacity of the adult population of Gulf of Mexico King Mackerel and an important supplemental survey for red snapper and several other reef fish.
The latest cancellations are among several projects that have been affected the COVID-19 pandemic.
source: NOAA Fisheries