Great South Channel Habitat Management Area (GSC HMA) survey

Project leads: Natalie Jennings, Luisa Garcia, and Farrell Davis

Funded by: Private donations

This project aims to use underwater video systems to evaluate the relationship between habitat complexity and surf clam abundance in GSC HMA and identify finfish species assemblages and their relationship to complex habitat within the same area. Starting in the summer of 2020, CFF and industry partner Nantucket Sound Seafood conducted more than 50 benthic survey trips aboard the F/V Seafox to study habitat and gear interactions in the GSC HMA. Together, the staff and crew designed, tested, and deployed a dredge-mounted camera system on a clam hydraulic dredge to capture video from the dredge point of view. During other trips, researchers used the CFF stationary camera stands, benthic sled, and baited underwater video systems to document the distribution of living and non-living features in specific areas. Analysis of the extensive video footage is underway, allowing CFF staff to create detailed habitat maps to share with industry members and management.

dredge and sled.jpg