Hydrographic surveys set

AUGUSTA — As a courtesy to Maine lobster license holders, the Maine Department of Marine Resources is notifying lobster fishermen that NOAA is conducting a hydrographic survey in Penobscot and Jericho Bays beginning in July and continuing into the fall. The DMR has no involvement in the survey.

The purpose of this project is to provide contemporary surveys to update National Ocean Service (NOS) nautical charting products. This project area is located in the highly trafficked areas of Penobscot and Jericho Bays and will cover approximately 89 square nautical miles of navigationally significant area as identified in the 2012 NOAA Hydrographic Survey Priorities.

The bays are home to some of the busiest lobster fishing grounds in the region and contribute greatly to the local community. Fishermen in the area have requested up-to-date and accurate surveys to assist in safe navigation along the working grounds.

The project will begin on or about July 19, ending in September or October. Fugro Pelagos Inc. will be contracted to survey in this area and will leave port from multiple locations around Penobscot Bay. In the course of the project, Fugro Pelagos Inc. will survey the area with a combination of single beam and multibeam echo sounders. In addition, they will perform Lidar acquisition using manned aircraft. The survey will start in Eastern Penobscot Bay and move to Jericho Bay and then up into Eggemoggin Reach, but the vessels may move back and forth between areas due to weather issues. They also will collect bottom samples with a small grab sampler.

The survey vessels that Fugro intends to use for this survey are of comparable size to the lobster fleet: Theory, JAB, Westerly and Locator.

For information, contact NOAA’s Navigation Manager, Lt. Commander Meghan McGovern at [email protected] or 401-782-3252.

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