Donald Anderson – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
US National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms
The National Office serves as a focal point for US HAB research and information by organizing and providing for scientific community access to the latest research developments, workshop reports, research strategies, and related data and information. The Office facilitates an open exchange of scientific information to advance the state of knowledge and research efforts.
- PI Anderson provided testimony at the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment Hearing, “The Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2011”, Washington, DC, June 1, 2011.
- A major contribution on HABs was published in the Annual Reviews in Marine Science - Anderson, D.M., A.D. Cembella, and G.M. Hallegraeff. 2012. Progress in understanding harmful algal blooms: Paradigm shifts and new technologies for research, monitoring and management. Annu. Rev. Mar. Sci. 4: 143-76.
Mark Baumgartner - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Autonomous Gliders for Real-Time Passive Acoustic Remote Sensing
The overarching goal for this project is to explore the capability for autonomous gliders to provide real time locations of marine mammals as part of the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s ongoing efforts to monitor and assess marine mammal stocks.
- Three ocean gliders were successfully deployed in the southwestern Gulf of Maine for four weeks; the gliders recorded a variety of baleen whale calls, including those from humpback, fin, sei, and North Atlantic right whales.
- A manuscript on a generalized baleen whale call detection and classification system was completed and now published (Journal of the Acoustical Society of America).
- Implemented the generalized low-frequency call detection and classification system on the DMON acoustic instrument, and integrated the system with both the glider and profiling float controller software.
Cabell Davis – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
High Resolution 3D Mapping using the VPR
The primary objective of this project was to conduct a broad-scale Video Plankton Recorder (VPRII) survey of the Gulf of Mexico during March/April 2011 aboard the R/V Oceanus. The cruise objective was to collect high-resolution data on plankton and marine snow together with environmental variables using the VPRII.
- The VPRII was towyoed for a record 3,048 nautical miles, from St. Petersburg to Galveston.
- The VPRII collected over 10 million plankton images together with environmental data on over 3,500 vertical profiles (the equivalent of over 3,500 CTD casts and plankton tows). This sampling is the most intensive large-scale plankton survey ever done (it is 500 miles longer than our previous transatlantic VPRII towyo).
- The survey encompassed such diverse areas as the loop current waters, Apalachicola and Mobile coastal waters, the near-field of the DWH wellhead, the Mississippi outflow, and the Flower Gardens. The environmental data supplementing the video images included, temperature, salinity, depth, chlorophyll fluorescence, turbidity, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and acoustic backscatter (ABS) from four high-frequency transducers (0.5, 1, 2, 4 MHz).
- All data were archived and distributed through a chain of custody to NOAA and BP/Entrix.
Steve Eayrs – Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Facilitating the Submission of Electronic Vessel Trip Reports by Northeast Fisherman
The overall objectives of this project are to test the efficacy of three different computer software options across a range of commercial fishing vessels to transmit electronic vessel trip reports (eVTRs) and identify issues pertaining to electronic data transmission and software operation. These options were tested on a range of 30 vessels over the course of 2010 (the eVTR Pilot phase, during which time fishermen were required to transmit using both electronic and handwritten options). The goals of the project this year were to expand upon that testing and begin outfitting additional boats with eVTR hardware and software.
- Thirteen fishermen were trained over the past twelve months in the use and operation of electronic logbook software to transmit logbook data electronically and to outfit their vessels with appropriate hardware and software
- GMRI has been established as the point of contact with fishermen/sector managers/NMFS managers regarding eVTR issues and operation
- A variety of technical issues were resolved and the spread of accurate information on eVTR transmission options, data requirements, timeliness of data flow, and use to industry was facilitated.
Josh Kohut – Rutgers University
Evaluation of Broad and Fine Scale Models of Butterfish BIOMASS to by-Catch Reduction in the Longfin Inshore Squid Fishery in the Mid-Atlantic Bight
The goal of this project is to evaluate existing auto-correlative and environmentally based models of butterfish biomass with an at sea trial and demonstrate the feasibility of employing real-time temperature data delivered automatically from industry boats.
- The at-sea evaluation of the butterfish model identified the scales over which the model can be applied. Over the Mid-Atlantic Bight Scale, the model did a good job at identifying the preferred offshore butterfish habitats.
- The evaluation identified a role the model could play in guiding an industry based survey focused on small pelagic fish like butterfish, extending the coverage of the fishery-independent survey and sampling habitat regions not currently sufficiently sampled.
- The results of the experimental operational habitat model were shown to fishermen in Cape May to see if a hindcast of the model matched what the fishermen were observing. These parties were interviewed about the qualitative accuracy of the model via email. Fishers stated that the model appeared to be accurate at a broad scale and over time.
William Lange – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
A Third Dimension: Applying Imaging and Visualization Technology to Battle of the Atlantic Shipwrecks
The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is in the process of considering expanding the current sanctuary to include additional maritime heritage resources off the coast. Expansion requires the identification and characterization of significant vessels, to aid in determining sanctuary boundaries and appropriate management practices. The goal of this project was to catalog site significance and integrity, and identify degrading impacts from both environmental and cultural factors.
- The Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory (AIVL), in conjunction with MNMS, imaged and surveyed a series of wrecks near Cape Hatteras, NC. The targets were a combination of wrecks that had been discovered and surveyed over the years by the local dive community and a collection of new targets that were discovered during a NOAA sponsored survey cruise earlier in the summer. The wrecks were imaged by a series of 2D and 3D WHOI- AIVL camera systems that have been developed over the past decade and have been optimized for underwater survey and cinematography work. Both divers and ROV’s were used to capture images.
- NOAA and WHOI have presented the results of this project at the Society Historical archeology Conference in January 2012. Further outreach is being planned for the sanctuaries visitor center as well as educational television work with the National Geographic Society.
Robert A. Weller and Albert J. Plueddemann - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Ocean Climate Observations and Analyses (2011-2012)
The Ocean Reference Station project is carried out to provide critical, sustained observations of a key region of the ocean, the trade wind region, that plays an important role in weather and climate. They are also where the ocean provides CO2 to the atmosphere in contrast to the higher latitudes where the ocean gains CO2 from the atmosphere. An improved and accurate understanding of the exchange of heat, freshwater, momentum, and compounds such as CO2, across the trade wind region is required to improve our ability to understand the way in which the atmosphere and ocean interact and how that interaction should be represented in models used to predict weather and climate variability.
• Benchmarking three trade wind sites – the three ORS now provide accurate local climatologies of surface forcing and upper ocean variability.
• They form the basis for tracking anomalies in surface forcing and upper ocean heat content and identifying the spatial representativeness of such anomalies by looking at decorrelation scales in the atmosphere (in model and OA Flux fields) and in the ocean (in Argo float data).
• Quantifying the processes at work to maintain the state of the upper ocean – the combination of accurate local forcing and good time/space resolution in the upper ocean allows us to identify the major contributors to local heat, freshwater, and momentum balances.
- The HabCam optical and acoustic imaging vehicle was integrated into the National Marine Fisheries Service Annual Sea Scallop Survey. A total of 787,832 images with a footprint of about 1 m2 each representing, by region, 85,572 images collected in Closed Area I, 216,809 images in Closed Area II, 183,070 on the Canadian side of the Northeast Peak of Georges Bank, and 302,381 images between stations. Techniques were developed to process all images for lightfield and color correction, image distortion, and conversion to jpeg format for visualization as ground overlays in Google Earth. All image data for cruise HS_20090623 and associated Google Earth kml files are available through the HabCam website: http://habcam.whoi.edu
- GMRI, has been working with the Northeast Seafood Coalition and their sector vessels in developing their electronic logbook software, Fishtrax. GMRI staff also developed a fishermen‐friendly training manual for using Fishtrax. The use of electronic trip reports provides an opportunity for fishermen to transmit catch and effort data in a timely manner to the NMFS and their respective sector managers. This will substantially reduce the time between data receipt, evaluation, and response, thus providing both NMFS and sector managers an improved ability to manage and respond to fishing activity. To date, a total of 39 vessels representing 13 sectors have thus far expressed interest in participating in this project; currently 5 vessels representing 3 sectors are actively participating.
- GMRI has convened leading members of the groundfish industry and formed a consensus on how $1.2 million for dockside monitoring will be divided among the 17 groundfish sectors. The sectors represent the full range of groundfishing activity, from small community‐based groups operating from remote, island ports to large, offshore vessels that spend a week on Georges Bank.
- A database has been established containing all humpback whale entanglements over the past decade using the categories and definitions that the New England Aquarium and Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies have defined.
- The Marine Resource Education Program conducted one full session of the MREP 100 program (one Fisheries Science module and one Management Process module) and one MREP 200 workshop. MREP created an opportunity for fishing industry members to interact directly with the fishery survey scientists and crew, and engage in discussion about a process that has historically been the subject of concern and skepticism. This program increased the industry's understanding of survey methodology, leading to improved relationships between industry and NOAA Fisheries, and increased trust in the fisheries science contributing to management decisions.