The interdisciplinary research conducted at CFF encompasses a wide range of topics focused on developing sustainable fisheries and agriculture practices that can coexist with ecosystem health, protected species, and conflicting uses from industries like offshore wind. Our research tackles issues like fisheries bycatch, climate change impacts, and habitat degradation using an effective mix of traditional and cutting edge technologies.
CFF conducts a range of marine surveys using both traditional fishing gear like scallop dredges, optical survey equipment like our HabCam vehicle, and satellite telemetry. Our surveys play a critical role in fisheries stock and habitat assessments on Georges Bank, in Southern New England waters, and in the Mid-Atlantic. Through new collaborations, we are continuing to demonstrate the value of working with the commercial and recreational fishing industry to tackle previously unanswered questions.
To learn more about our marine survey research, click on one of our focus topics.
Focus on MARINE SURVEYS
Focus on REDUCING BYCATCH
Since CFF was founded, a primary focus of our research has been developing new ways to reduce fishery bycatch. Our efforts have focused on animals ranging from sea turtles to flounder to juvenile scallops. Our fishing gear modifications have been incorporated into fishery management plans to reduce sea turtle and flounder bycatch, and data collected during our seasonal surveys have been used to develop effective time-area closures to protect yellowtail flounder on Georges Bank.
To learn more about our research on bycatch reduction, click on one of our focus topics.
CFF's research focus on sea turtles began before its founding with design of the turtle-deflector dredge. Since then, CFF and scientists from the Protected Species Branch at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center have tagged over 250 loggerheads, tracked more than 70 loggerheads with an ROV to collect first-of-its-kind video footage, and developed a suction-cup video tag to study leatherback behavior. Suction cup tags will soon be used to study the impacts of wind farm construction on leatherbacks.
To learn more about our protected species research, click on one of our focus topics.
Focus on PROTECTED SPECIES
CFF's agriculture research center is located on the adjacent Coonamessett Farm, a 20-acre working farm with five greenhouses, multiple active fields growing a wide range of crops, and a variety of livestock. Our studies focus on local crop production and the challenges faced by small farmers in our region, particularly the impacts of climate change, depleted soil health, and other stresses on crops and livestock. Our current focus on community-scale composting will explore best practices for farm waste management, production of more nutrient dense foods, promotion of biodiversity, and other human and ecological health benefits.
To learn more about our agriculture research, click on our focus topic.
Other active research projects at CFF