Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel Members Witness Bigelow Survey Operations

roebuck_hopper_smThree members of the Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel (NTAP), a new member of the New England Fishery Management Council and several of their colleagues made a day trip on the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow October 11 to observe bottom trawl operations on the vessel, which is in the midst of the autumn bottom trawl survey. “The idea was to allow NTAP members to see how we operate under real survey conditions” said Rob Johnston, chief of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s (NEFSC) Ecosystems Surveys Branch. The group boarded the Bigelow early Tuesday morning, the first day of Leg 3 of the fall survey, at the Newport Naval Station in Rhode Island and headed offshore just south of Rhode Island Sound.,,  “The trip on the Bigelow was very informative and answered many of the questions I had about the trawl mensuration system,” said Chris Roebuck, a fisherman from Pt. Judith, RI and a NTAP member. “The trip confirmed my belief that the survey is not at fault for the mismatches between what we see on the water and what comes out as an end result in management. Rather the interpretation of what that survey information means and how it is incorporated into management is to blame. The trip also made me realize that there are many more obstacles to overcome in our transition to industry vessels supplementing the Bigelow survey.” Read the story here 20:31