Linking Fishing Vessels and K-12 Classrooms
Fish in Your Classroom
Detection and Telemetry of Right Whales
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from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust and the National Fish
and Wildlife Foundation, FER has developed a prototype buoy that
can detect underwater vocalizations of northern right whales and
radio that information back to shore. Tracking these endangered
mammals (see recent press
release) is critical to warning ships of their presence and
thus minimizing the risks of collisions. The FER listening buoy
is being tested this summer.
Modifications For Reduced Habitat Impact
FER has developed replacements for some traditional trawl
hardware using "software" devices
made of fabric. These flexible fabrications use hydrodynamic pressure to
achieve their purpose and bring some distinct advantages in handling as well
as the potential to reduce unnecessary disruption to the seabed. The work
is an extension of the headrope kites FER introduced in earlier trawl training
courses. The kites provide the headrope lift needed for high-opening trawls,
outperforming the plastic or metal floats normally used. The FER kites are
now common in many of the southern New England pelagic fisheries.
Scallop Dredge Design for Reduced Habitat Impacts
dredge used by the New Bedford scallop fleet is designed to withstand
the rigors of towing over the hardest of bottoms. Historically,
the impact of this gear on the seabed has not been taken into consideration,
and large, heavy dredges have resulted. This project seeks to develop
a dredge design that uses hydrodynamic forces rather than weight
to keep the gear to bottom. The prototype dredge also has multiple
short chain sweeps, rather than a single, highly-loaded sweep,
to improve bottom tending in the absence of the normal cutting
Vessel Instrumentation and Telemetering
FER is collaborating
on a regional project to develop technology to allow commercial
fishing vessels to be part of an environmental data gathering system.
On-board instruments with computer-based displays and satellite
communications will improve environmental predictions and give
fishermen a communications link to data sets and fish markets.
Island Aquaculture Center
with the City of Boston, FER lead a team of experts to identify
ways to convert Moon Island into an aquaculture center. The site
is the former sewage handling facility for the greater Boston area.
The conversion of the 50-million-gallon granite reservoirs to house
a sustainable form of aquaculture was the initial challenge. The
use of recirculating technologies presents the most attractive
development strategy. The presence of contaminated sediments in
the reservoirs and the projected development costs require the
establishment of a smaller commercial operation in Boston before
the financing of the Moon Island development can be considered.
Marine Finfish Hatchery (formerly Boston Harbor Finfish
with the the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center, FER has established
a Finfish Hatchery in Gloucester Harbor. This research and educational
facility is open to the public.
Permitting Guidelines for Massachusetts
is aimed at studying the regulatory requirements associated with
marine aquaculture in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and surrounding
coastal waters. We will prepare and distribute guidelines to assist
commercial applicants in obtaining applicable aquaculture permits
in Massachusetts and develop recommendations for greater coordination
among local, state, and federal regulatory agencies to reduce the
time required for permitting. We will also identify and assist
commercial proponents of land-based recirculating finfish production
and ocean-based production of finfish or shellfish willing to serve
as test cases for the permit process.
Test Center for Open-Ocean Mariculture
The goal of
this project is to support the establishment of an economically
viable offshore mariculture industry through a program of research
and testing on fish containment systems designed for open-ocean
sites. In collaboration with industry partners, model tests have
been conducted to support the development of specific open-ocean
mariculture system designs using the facilities at the David Taylor
Model Basin (DTMB) and at MIT. Testing has been done on the Ocean
Spar Pan and the Sea Station cage, both of which have been commercialized
by Ocean Spar Technologies, LLC of Washington state. We also determined
wave-induced loads on cylindrical cages in collaboration with Sea
Pride, Inc., of Florida.
Development of Robofeeder for Unmanned Offshore Cages
The need to cost-effectively feed caged fish in the offshore
environment has constrained the growth of offshore aquaculture.
Engineering Research has developed an automated feeding system that
is currently being tested at two offshore sites. Learn
more about the project