13 research outputs found

    Beyond discards: cascading socio-economic and environmental effects of a commercial aggregate landings program in Rhode Island

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    Flexible approaches to commercial fisheries harvest have been designed to meet management objectives. Rights-based management tools have been problematic for fishing businesses in certain scenarios, whereas aggregate landings approaches may offer similar flexibility while avoiding pitfalls like industry consolidation. This study evaluates a Rhode Island pilot aggregate landings program for summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) and black sea bass (Centropristis striata) from the perspective of the pilot program participants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participating commercial harvesters. Fishery-dependent data were also analyzed to supplement harvesters’ responses. Interview respondents overwhelmingly supported the aggregate landings approach and described benefits directly from the program, including cost savings, reduced discards, and improved safety. The program also led to increased average weekly harvest of both species and a slight increase in the price of catch for black sea bass for program participants. The aggregate landings approach encouraged fishers to take on less risk through added flexibility in when they chose to fish, while still maximizing their utility. Although the original goals of the program were to reduce regulatory discards and make businesses more efficient, it also resulted in improvements to fishers’ well-being, suggesting that aggregate landings approaches should be considered for other fisheries

    EVALUATING THE POTENTIAL FOR USING SPECIES PRESENCE DATA COLLECTED BY COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN FOR SPECIES DISTRIBUTION MODELING IN THE GULF OF MAINE

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    Fishermen and scientists have noted that fish species distributions are changing along the Northeast Continental Shelf in response to local climate variability and large scale warming trends. NEFSC semiannual trawl survey data have been modeled to demonstrate these distributional and poleward shifts in species assemblages, but New England groundfishermen argue that management structures are slow to reflect these changes and that species distribution modeling of trawl survey data has failed to accurately characterize them. Fishermen have requested an outlet to submit information to scientists regarding where they are encountering shifting species while fishing. Data collected by fishermen themselves may be suitable for gaining a deeper understanding of moving fish populations. In response, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Island Institute have proposed to create a phone application that would allow fishermen to take photographs of species they encounter and log the location at the time of the photograph. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether data submitted though such an application would be useful to scientists in modeling distributional shifts of commercially important species. I created a proxy for data submitted by commercial fishermen on red hake and used it as input data in maximum entropy models to determine whether such data would be comprehensive enough or spatially distributed in a manner that would make it suitable for species distribution modeling. All “citizen science” datasets of varying sample size and spatial distribution produced models with AUC values greater than 0.75, while the baseline models using presence data from the trawl survey had lower AUC values around 0.7. Our results indicate that concentrated data from fishing areas can lead to underestimation of species presence probability in regions where no fishing occurred. This happened because the fishing data used to generate random points from fishermen only covered part of the study region. Findings of this study suggest that presence data from fishermen are suitable for presence-only maximum entropy species distribution models, but actual Citizen science data collection and further modeling should include data from fishermen in the Mid-Atlantic to produce more robust and reliable models

    Offshore wind energy and benthic habitat changes : lessons from block island wind farm

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    Study concepts, oversight, and funding for the RODEO Program were provided by the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Environmental Studies Program, Washington, DC, under HDR’s IDIQ Contract No. M15PC00002.The Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF), situated offshore of Block Island, Rhode Island, is the first commercial offshore wind farm (OWF) in the United States. We briefly review pre-siting studies, which provide contextual information about the benthic habitats and fish in the Block Island Sound area before the BIWF jacket foundations were installed in 2015. We focus on benthic monitoring that took place within the BIWF. This monitoring allowed for assessments of spatiotemporal changes in sediment grain size, organic enrichment, and macrofauna, as well as the colonization of the jacket structures, up to four years post-installation. The greatest benthic modifications occurred within the footprint of the foundation structures through the development of mussel aggregations. Within four years, changes in benthic habitats (defined as biotopes) were observed within the 90 m range of the study, clearly linked to the mussel-dominated colonization of the structures, which also hosted numerous indigenous fish species. We discuss the evident structural and functional effects and their ecological importance at the BIWF and for future US OWFs, drawing on similarities with European studies. While reviewing lessons learned from the BIWF, we highlight the need to implement coordinated monitoring for future developments and recommend a strategy to better understand environmental implications.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    Table_4_Beyond discards: cascading socio-economic and environmental effects of a commercial aggregate landings program in Rhode Island.docx

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    Flexible approaches to commercial fisheries harvest have been designed to meet management objectives. Rights-based management tools have been problematic for fishing businesses in certain scenarios, whereas aggregate landings approaches may offer similar flexibility while avoiding pitfalls like industry consolidation. This study evaluates a Rhode Island pilot aggregate landings program for summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) and black sea bass (Centropristis striata) from the perspective of the pilot program participants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participating commercial harvesters. Fishery-dependent data were also analyzed to supplement harvesters’ responses. Interview respondents overwhelmingly supported the aggregate landings approach and described benefits directly from the program, including cost savings, reduced discards, and improved safety. The program also led to increased average weekly harvest of both species and a slight increase in the price of catch for black sea bass for program participants. The aggregate landings approach encouraged fishers to take on less risk through added flexibility in when they chose to fish, while still maximizing their utility. Although the original goals of the program were to reduce regulatory discards and make businesses more efficient, it also resulted in improvements to fishers’ well-being, suggesting that aggregate landings approaches should be considered for other fisheries.</p

    Table_2_Beyond discards: cascading socio-economic and environmental effects of a commercial aggregate landings program in Rhode Island.docx

    No full text
    Flexible approaches to commercial fisheries harvest have been designed to meet management objectives. Rights-based management tools have been problematic for fishing businesses in certain scenarios, whereas aggregate landings approaches may offer similar flexibility while avoiding pitfalls like industry consolidation. This study evaluates a Rhode Island pilot aggregate landings program for summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) and black sea bass (Centropristis striata) from the perspective of the pilot program participants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participating commercial harvesters. Fishery-dependent data were also analyzed to supplement harvesters’ responses. Interview respondents overwhelmingly supported the aggregate landings approach and described benefits directly from the program, including cost savings, reduced discards, and improved safety. The program also led to increased average weekly harvest of both species and a slight increase in the price of catch for black sea bass for program participants. The aggregate landings approach encouraged fishers to take on less risk through added flexibility in when they chose to fish, while still maximizing their utility. Although the original goals of the program were to reduce regulatory discards and make businesses more efficient, it also resulted in improvements to fishers’ well-being, suggesting that aggregate landings approaches should be considered for other fisheries.</p

    Table_3_Beyond discards: cascading socio-economic and environmental effects of a commercial aggregate landings program in Rhode Island.docx

    No full text
    Flexible approaches to commercial fisheries harvest have been designed to meet management objectives. Rights-based management tools have been problematic for fishing businesses in certain scenarios, whereas aggregate landings approaches may offer similar flexibility while avoiding pitfalls like industry consolidation. This study evaluates a Rhode Island pilot aggregate landings program for summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) and black sea bass (Centropristis striata) from the perspective of the pilot program participants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participating commercial harvesters. Fishery-dependent data were also analyzed to supplement harvesters’ responses. Interview respondents overwhelmingly supported the aggregate landings approach and described benefits directly from the program, including cost savings, reduced discards, and improved safety. The program also led to increased average weekly harvest of both species and a slight increase in the price of catch for black sea bass for program participants. The aggregate landings approach encouraged fishers to take on less risk through added flexibility in when they chose to fish, while still maximizing their utility. Although the original goals of the program were to reduce regulatory discards and make businesses more efficient, it also resulted in improvements to fishers’ well-being, suggesting that aggregate landings approaches should be considered for other fisheries.</p

    Table_1_Beyond discards: cascading socio-economic and environmental effects of a commercial aggregate landings program in Rhode Island.docx

    No full text
    Flexible approaches to commercial fisheries harvest have been designed to meet management objectives. Rights-based management tools have been problematic for fishing businesses in certain scenarios, whereas aggregate landings approaches may offer similar flexibility while avoiding pitfalls like industry consolidation. This study evaluates a Rhode Island pilot aggregate landings program for summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) and black sea bass (Centropristis striata) from the perspective of the pilot program participants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participating commercial harvesters. Fishery-dependent data were also analyzed to supplement harvesters’ responses. Interview respondents overwhelmingly supported the aggregate landings approach and described benefits directly from the program, including cost savings, reduced discards, and improved safety. The program also led to increased average weekly harvest of both species and a slight increase in the price of catch for black sea bass for program participants. The aggregate landings approach encouraged fishers to take on less risk through added flexibility in when they chose to fish, while still maximizing their utility. Although the original goals of the program were to reduce regulatory discards and make businesses more efficient, it also resulted in improvements to fishers’ well-being, suggesting that aggregate landings approaches should be considered for other fisheries.</p

    Integrating social and ecological research on the impacts of offshore wind farms in North America

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    This chapter discusses lessons learned from a socio-ecological study on the impacts of the first offshore wind farm in North America. The authors reflect on the combination of ecological data from demersal fish trawl and lobster surveys and qualitative social science data from interviews with commercial and recreational fishermen. They encountered several challenges in integrating the different research strands, arising from the temporal and spatial ranges of data, mismatch in focal fish species, and research framing. Despite these challenges, an integrated approach led to more comprehensive capture of impacts and guidance on how to design better biological studies. Early stage collaboration during research design, aligned goals, and comprehensive planning are all key to more integrated data collection and analysis within interdisciplinary studies of marine and fisheries domains

    Recreational boaters’ preferences for boating trips associated with offshore wind farms in US waters

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    This study used a stated preference approach to assess potential impacts of offshore wind farms on recreational boaters in and around Rhode Island (US) waters. To develop the stated preference survey, seven focus groups were conducted with recreational boaters in Rhode Island (RI) in 2017. A combined mail and on-line choice experiment survey was administered in the spring and summer 2018 to 2500 owners of US Coast Guard-documented recreational vessels with a hailing port in Rhode Island. The survey instrument elicited recreational boaters’ preferences for particular attributes of a recreational boating trip (location, proximity to a wind farm, amount of nearby boating activity, main activity during trip, trip costs). Data were analyzed using the mixed logit model to understand how changes in individual attributes affect the acceptability of a boating trip. Findings indicate that the value of a recreational boating experience is considerably reduced in areas with offshore wind farms. Findings from this study provide valuable insights into the potential impacts of the growing offshore wind industry on one group of marine resource users and potential management strategies for addressing these impacts in the US

    Validation and interpretability of data-driven models

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    This is a Whitepaper submitted to the 2017 DOE ASCR Applied Math Meeting. It addresses research topics in the "Convergence of data- and model-driven discovery" subject area. In particular, it proposes research activities that would enhance the interpretability of data-driven models, such as neural nets, which are increasing being used in multiscale simulations for upscaling/downscaling operations e.g., as turbulence closures etc. The research would allow us validate such empirical, data-driven models against physics theory
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