The disposition of animals discarded as bycatch has been a research focus of the VIMS Sea Scallop Research Program. In collaboration with colleagues from the University of New England, the New England Aquarium, the University of Delaware, and Arizona State University, we have investigated incidental and discard mortality for several species in relation to capture and handling in the sea scallop dredge fishery. Species studied to date include:
- Sea scallop discard and incidental mortality
- Monkfish discard mortality
- Skate discard mortality
Sea scallop and skate discard mortality (the mortality of animals captured and subsequently discarded) was estimated during holding tank field studies that assessed injury condition and response to stimuli to estimate mortality.
- Discard Mortality of Sea Scallops Following Capture and Handling in the Sea Scallop Dredge Fishery
- Evaluating the Condition and Discard Mortality of Skates Following Capture and Handling in the Sea Scallop Dredge Fishery
Sea scallop incidental mortality (the mortality of scallops that interact with the dredge but are not captured) was estimated using a before/after field study in conjunction with the University of Delaware. An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) followed in the tracks of a scallop dredge taking video images of scallops left in the path.
- Incidental Mortality Estimates of Sea Scallops from AUV-based BACI Surveys
Monkfish discard mortality was estimated using a combination of holding tank studies and satellite tags in a series of field studies.
- Evaluating the Condition and Discard Mortality of Monkfish, Lophius americanus, Following Capture and Handling in the Sea Scallop Dredge Fishery
- Development of a Histological Protocol for the Age Determination of Monkfish, Lophius americanus