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ATLANTIC SEA SCALLOPS

SEA SCALLOP SEEDING
Drivers of dispersal and retention in recently seeded sea scallops
 Principal investigators: Ricky Alexander, Liese Siemann, Samir Patel
Funding provided by: NOAA/NMFS Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program

CFF researchers continue to explore and demonstrate the feasibility of a seeding program to enhance and stabilize scallop recruitment while documenting the factors that affect seed survival. Our research focuses on scallop dispersal and survival in offshore populations with an emphasis on the factors influencing dispersal in the days immediately following seeding operations. At-sea experiments compare scallop retention and habitat conditions at three sites, the reseeded harvest site and a nearby seeding site. Seeded scallops are marked using a new cost effective technique that includes size-class identification and on-bottom monitoring. Sites are monitored for 5 days with an autonomous underwater vehicle and an imaging trawl. Data gained in this experiment provides invaluable information for active management of seeded scallops, including scallop retention and habitat selection. The  innovative monitoring technique we develop is likely to open up new avenues for monitoring dispersal of benthic organisms.

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