October 02, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will award $244,040 to the University of New England to determine best capture-and-handling methods and promote survival for Atlantic cod unintentionally caught in lobster gear in the Gulf of Maine.
“Historically dominant in coastal Maine fishing communities, the Atlantic cod fishery is now almost non-existent,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “By better understanding all fisheries’ interactions with Atlantic cod populations, we can develop strategies to protect this vulnerable marine resource and create a more sustainable future for our fishing industry.”
This project will evaluate Atlantic cod released from standard lobster gear. Transmitters attached to the cod will allow scientists to analyze mortality data on cod released from lobster traps. Researchers will then be able to use this data to provide best practice recommendations to determine how cod can best survive capture in lobster equipment.
This grant funding was awarded through the NOAA’s Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP). BREP supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch. Bycatch is a fish or marine species caught unintentionally while fishing for a different species.