2023 Northeast Fall Bottom Trawl Survey Completed

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NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow | credit: NOAA

In November, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center staff finished the 2023 Fall Bottom Trawl Survey aboard the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow.

Staff conducted resource survey tows and temperature and salinity sampling at 335 of 377 planned stations (89 percent completion). They sampled for plankton at 107 of 116 planned stations (92 percent completion).

This year’s fall survey occurred in three legs, moving from south to north. The survey got underway on September 10 and concluded on November 17.

The Henry B. Bigelow supports a variety of marine research on this multispecies bottom-trawl survey. The most important of its missions is to monitor the region’s fishery resources.

This survey monitors fishery stock abundance and distribution on the Northwest Atlantic continental shelf from Cape Lookout, North Carolina, to the Scotian Shelf.

Data collected include fish age, length, weight, sex, maturity, and food habits information. Ichthyoplankton (larval fish and eggs) and zooplankton are also collected during the survey.

The temperature and salinity profiles are collected during the survey which help link fish distribution to physical oceanographic conditions.

Henry B. Bigelow is a NOAA fisheries survey ship that studies a wide range of marine life and ocean conditions along the U.S. East Coast. The ship’s primary mission is to study and monitor fish stocks.

The ship also conducts habitat assessments and surveys marine mammal and seabird populations from Maine to North Carolina.

Henry B. Bigelow is currently homeported in Newport, Rhode Island.

source: Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO)