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Marine Resources


June 2015 Issue

New River Herring Conservation Plan
NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission have released the River Herring Conservation Plan. The goals of the plan are to increase public awareness about river herring—alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (A. aestivalis)—and to foster cooperative research and conservation efforts to restore river herring along the Atlantic coast. The plan will be refined over time with public input.

The goals of the plan are: to increase coordination of river herring data collection, research and conservation; identify and undertake key research projects related to assessment and conservation; identify any further conservation actions to address threats; cultivate and engage research groups to address key topics in protecting or restoring herring populations; identify funding sources and secure funds for river herring research and conservation; improve information to be used in conservation efforts and incorporated into the next assessment; and increase public outreach about river herring and the need for addressing impacts to these resources.

ORPC Moves Into County Donegal
Ocean Renewable Power Co. (ORPC), based in Portland, Maine, is setting up ORPC Ireland, LLC in County Donegal at the Co-Lab Business Centre at Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

Located in the northwest region of Ireland, County Donegal has more mainland coastline than any other county in the country, measuring 1,134 kilometers.

Fugro Releases Tracer Sand For Beach Maintenance Trial
Fugro (Leidschendam, Netherlands) is participating in a nearshore replenishment trial that aims to reduce the cost of beach maintenance. Sustaining Poole Bay’s wide sandy beach in the U.K. protects seafront properties and infrastructure against coastal flooding and erosion.

The trial is to determine if dredged material deposited offshore naturally makes its way to the beach, thus eliminating the need for costly mechanical pumping and land operation to reduce the cost of beach maintenance.

To assist in this trial, Fugro released 1,000 kilograms of tracer sand approximately 400 meters offshore. This tracer material was placed on top of the deposited sand as part of the trial. It closely matches native sand characteristics but has been colored to allow detection and tracking of its movement. The fluorescent tracer material is painted with a UV-responsive pigment and coated with a clear lacquer to retain the fluorescent characteristics over transport distances in excess of 1,000 kilometers.

Fugro will track the release of the fluorescent tracer material by collecting sediment samples from the seabed and beach around the deposit zone.

Shoreline Restoration Projects For New Jersey, Florida
As part of the U.S. government’s continuing commitment to help coastal communities recover from Hurricane Sandy and promote resilient coastal systems, beachfill construction to complete the remaining sections of the Storm Damage Reduction Project on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, has begun. Sand dredged from federal offshore waters is being placed along 11.5 miles of shoreline between Barnegat Inlet and Little Egg Inlet in the previously unconstructed portions of the project.

BOEM, which oversees access to Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) resources, is making available up to 7 million cubic yards of sand from federal waters.

This is the largest amount of OCS sand conveyed by BOEM along the Atlantic coast for a single project to date. The project is expected to extend through April 2016.

This project was authorized for construction by the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 and was partially constructed before Hurricane Sandy affected the New Jersey shoreline. Under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, Congress authorized the Corps to complete the construction of the project and appropriated the additional funding. BOEM has also signed an agreement with Collier County, Florida, for the use of up to 500,000 cubic yards of sand from the OCS to renourish four segments of shoreline near Naples, Florida. Sand for the restoration projects will assist Collier County Parks and Recreation Department in reducing coastal storm flooding and erosion and provide recreational and environmental habitat benefits.

The project, totaling 7.5 miles, will take place between Wiggins Pass and Gordon Pass, including Vanderbilt Beach, Pelican Bay, Park Shore and Naples Beach.

Construction is expected to begin in 2016.

Modeling Environmental Change Effects on US Scallop Fishery
Good management has brought the $559 million U.S. sea scallop fishery back from the brink of collapse over the past 20 years. However, its current fishery management plan does not account for longer-term environmental change like ocean warming and acidification that may affect the fishery in the future. Researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, and Ocean Conservancy have developed a computer program that concurrently simulates ocean conditions, sea scallop population dynamics, and economic impacts on the scallop fishery. In the past, each component was considered separately, so it wasn’t possible to anticipate the full range of impacts of environmental changes on, for example, fishery revenues.

Output from the model ultimately will be available on an interactive website, where users can compare and contrast the effects of different management, environmental, and market scenarios.

To date, the researchers have analyzed just one scenario with the model. It shows that with current harvest levels and carbon dioxide emissions, sea scallop harvests may decline over the next several decades, and landings of larger scallops may be less abundant. Additional scenarios need to be evaluated, and more detailed information is needed regarding the impacts of warming and ocean acidification on sea scallops.


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