Sustainable Fisheries

Whelk & the Horseshoe Crab
An emerging fishery for channeled whelks has created an environmental concern for the bait of choice, the horseshoe crab, whose stocks appear to be in decline. The Marine Advisory Program has taken a lead role in: 1) evaluating strategies designed to reduce the demand for horseshoe crabs, and 2) evaluating the performance of alternative baits.

New Publication

Biotelemetry of Cownose Rays in Chesapeake Bay:  Habitat Use and Ray Movement, VIMS Marine Resource Report No. 2015-17

Coherent approach to Busycon/Busycotypus fishery management along the US Atlantic seaboard, VIMS Marine Resource Report No. 2015-16

Age, Growth, Size at Sexual Maturity and Reproductive Biology of Channeled Whelk, Busycotypus canaliculatus, in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic, VIMS Marine Resource Report No. 2015-15

Black Sea Bass
The Black Sea Bass is a trap fishery active primarily off the seaside of Virginia’s Eastern Shore and off the Virginia Beach coast south to North Carolina. Stocks of black sea bass are in decline, and marine specialists have focused on trap design changes to reduce the taking of undersized fish. Currently, those modifications have been mandated for use in this fishery by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

Sea Scallop
Through the years, the director of the Marine Advisory Program has served as an advisor to several key committees charged with managing the sea scallop resource off the Mid-Atlantic and New England coasts. Research on the impacts of gear modifications and a rotational closure management strategy have significantly improved the outlook for the sea scallop fishery in the U.S. – one of the most lucrative sectors of commercial fishing in both the nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Most recently, Virginia has taken a lead role in researching gear changes to reduce interactions between scallop dredge vessels and sea turtles. In field trials completed during the summer 2003, sea turtle interactions were cut dramatically as a result of these gear modifications. Cards explaining turtle resuscitation techniques and the rigging of gear modifications have now been placed aboard some 150 commercial vessels operating along the Atlantic Coast.