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

onable cost." Day says he looks at the program's web site, and although the data has been pretty much what he expected, he occasionally sees a change that he can relate to his catch.

What's next? Manning says the partners are working on a real-time bottom temperature sensor attached to the traps that would wirelessly transmit data via satellite once the trap is hauled on deck. They are also working on a combined tilt meter-bottom current meter with digital compass to measure both bottom currents and the angle at which the trap rests on the seafloor. The information collected should provide insight in whether bottom currents affect how lobsters move, and whether currents influence lobsters to enter a trap. In the near future, Manning would like to add sensors to measure oxygen, nutrients, and pH to determine ocean acidification levels in the region.

"There used to be a debate on the docks about whether it was cold or warm on the bottom," Manning said of the lobstermen, whom he meets regularly at their annual meetings and who send in updates. "Now there is no debate. The lobstermen see the data for themselves over time, and can take note of trends or changes that might affect their catches. It is a baseline that helps both lobster science and the scientists and ocean circulation modelers in the Gulf of Maine who, in partnership with the eMOLT lobstermen, constitute part of our nation's integrated ocean observing systems."


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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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