Groundfish survey complete

STONINGTON — The Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries (MCCF) recently completed the ninth season of a Sentinel Survey, involving longlining and jigging for groundfish at 80 locations from Penobscot Bay to Canada.

This year’s survey involved Deer Isle fisherman Bobby Jones on High Hopes and Mattie Thomson of Monhegan on Fairwind.

Graduate students from the University of Maine joined the fishermen aboard their vessels to capture data by fishing, measuring, and sampling catch at each station toward furthering our understanding of potential groundfish recovery.

Fish weights, lengths, and other data will be sent to Yong Chen at the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine in Orono and his lab, to be added to an abundance index for each of four groundfish species: cod, hake, haddock and halibut.

Tissue samples are shared with labs at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, University of New Hampshire, Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center to shed light on age, diet, health, and stock structure of these important groundfish species. Samples will be analyzed over the winter with a full report on findings prepared by spring/summer 2019.

Carla Guenther, chief scientist at MCCF, and colleague Patrick Shepard are set to travel to Woods Hole Dec. 14 to present preliminary data to the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, a longtime partner on the project.


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