Deciphering the Impacts of a Changing Ocean on Scallop Fisheries

Deciphering the Impacts of a Changing Ocean on Scallop Fisheries

The current scallop management program rotates access for scallop fishers between open and closed areas. When resource managers detect high abundances of small scallops in an area, that area can be closed to fishing to allow the scallops to grow larger. It is also critical to be able to use these changes in environmental conditions as predictors of scallop fishers’ behavior, such as choice of fishing routes and harvest locations. To better understand the socioeconomic impacts of a changing ocean on the sea scallop industry, WHOI biologist Rubao Ji and colleagues, in collaboration with scientists from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service and UMass Dartmouth, used new data on scallop catches and scallop spatial distributions (stocks) to model the relationship between catch per unit effort and scallop stocks. Together, this suite of models will enable managers to assess fishing community vulnerability under climate change, with important policy implications for the area management program.

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