Innovating In Fisheries SurveysRhode Island and New York, USA
INSPIRE conducted extensive fish and shellfish surveys to measure potential ecological and economic effects of ongoing offshore wind farm development at the Block Island Wind Farm. Engaging local fishermen in the design and data collection has led to broad acceptance of results that represent the most comprehensive studies of offshore wind in the U.S. We continue to incorporate stakeholder input into biological resource studies to more effectively represent these communities and provide defensible results.
Deepwater Wind and BOEM solicited an Atlantic cod spawning survey to support a new commercial wind farm offshore of southern New England with export cables reaching as far as Long Island. Rocky hardbottom geomorphology precluded the use of bottom trawls for traditional large-scale surveys, and sparse data on Atlantic cod spawning in the work area necessitated coordination with multiple federal and state agencies. INSPIRE scientists developed a reconnaissance survey using novel sampling techniques and utilizing the knowledge of local fishermen–working with local for-hire vessel captains to develop a sampling protocol that successfully documented total catch, cod spawning condition, water quality, and physical/oceanographic conditions at all fishing stations.