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Lobster traps going high tech
Date:3/9/2009

drifters have been deployed by students and researchers in studies by a number of colleges and universities, including Bowdoin College, the University of Southern Maine, University of New Hampshire, University of New England, Endicott College, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has deployed some of the drifters for NOAA-funded studies on harmful algal blooms, commonly called red tides, in the Gulf of Maine. Other researchers have used the drifters for oceanographic studies ranging from where coastal currents in the Gulf of Maine could spread pollutants and invasive species to the distribution of plankton and zooplankton that serve as a major food for whales and other marine life.

Manning and colleagues published drifter observations in the journal Continental Shelf Research in January 2009. The temperature observations will be published in the March 2009 issue of the Journal of Operational Oceanography.

Close to 100 lobstermen have provided sensor data since the program started, and about 60 lobstermen have been long-term active participants. Manning says he is a bit surprised but very pleased so many lobstermen are interested in the project. The eMOLT partners have contributed to a database with more than three million hourly temperature records, 80,000 salinity records, and 260,000 satellite drifter fixes (locations).

Lobsterman Jason Day of Vinalhaven, Maine heard about eMOLT from his father, Walter Day, also a lobsterman and program participant. A year-round lobsterman, Jason Day puts his traps in the water in late April or early May and hauls them out in December. He became involved with eMOLT three years ago and has one trap equipped with a temperature sensor in shallow water near Vinalhaven.

"I'm interested in what is happening on the bottom, and eMOLT helps me keep up," Day said. "The program covers a large area and provides a lot of data at a reas
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Contact: Shelley Dawicki
Shelley.Dawicki@noaa.gov
508-495-2378
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Source:Eurekalert

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