Tag Archives: Dr. Kevin Stokesbury

Don Cuddy – SMAST codfish counting innovation looks promising

Last December the New England Fishery Management Council voted to increase the amount of cod available to commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Maine by 39% for the 2018 fishing year. This is welcome news. New England fishermen have endured some lean years since 2013 when the cod quota was slashed by 78 percent after new data incorporated into the 2011 assessment indicated that the stock was lower than previously estimated-obviously a great deal lower. Estimating how many codfish might be out there at any given time is the greatest challenge facing fishery managers and the numbers have been subject of much controversy, with fishermen continually decrying the “best available science” as inadequate. >click to read< 19:25

Many fishermen believe Stokesbury saved the scallop industry

Well, I guess that I had better start writing some of this stuff down, as it seems that my memory is getting fuzzier by the day. Not an uncommon affliction for an old fisherman, who has been put ashore, but who still has enough recall to remember some things that are just too important to allow to fade into obscurity! I had been a scalloper out of New Bedford for 32 years, both as a deckhand, and as a captain of several high-line scalloper vessels. Over all those years there were several trips that stay relatively fresh in my mind’s eye, but one of the most important and fulfilling ones actually occurred after I came ashore. By Jim Kendall click here to read the story 21:55

This is exciting! SMAST scientists improving cod counting technology

A new video system designed by UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) scientists to assess the population of cod has passed its first major test, giving the researchers confidence that they can use this new approach to help improve the accuracy of future scientific assessments of this iconic species. Recent stock assessments indicate that the Gulf of Maine cod population is low and struggling to recover. Members of the fishing industry contest those results, suggesting the stock is much healthier than depicted in recent assessments. Video, Read the rest here 06:03

Interview – “Counting Fish” – Don Cuddy tells how the film came about

thumb“Counting Fish” a new documentary by Don Cuddy, profiles the work of Dr. Kevin Stokesbury, researcher at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, in his efforts to improve the way scientists assess fish stocks. Stokesbury drags a net with an open end, which fish swim through. As the fish pass out of the net, cameras record them. Scientists can then identify fish by their images. This allows for longer tows – as much two hours at a time – and the fish are not killed by the process. Listen to the interview here  08:47

‘Counting Fish’ takes a closer look at UMass Dartmouth team’s fishing industry research

smast 9 camera setupGentle persuasion might best describe a new 50-minute documentary on fisheries research going on at the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology. Don Cuddy, program director for the Center for Sustainable Fisheries and a Mattapoisett resident, provides the narration, taking the viewer aboard the fishing vessel Liberty in May of 2015 to observe fish survey work. There, one sees footage from eight days at sea, culled from seven hours, of Dr. Kevin Stokesbury of SMAST. He is the researcher who developed the “drop camera” for counting scallops on the sea floor, exposing faulty science, and helped create the highly profitable scallop industry known today. Read the rest here 07:49

NOAA/NMFS begins fence-mending with Northeast fishermen – After they killed most of them off!

NOAA ScientistNOAA/NMFS this week undertook an effort to build trust and cooperation from the New England fishing industry by including the industry in upcoming groundfish stock assessments. Dr. Kevin Stokesbury (SMAST) is  concerned about the inaccuracy of the various computer models being used to evaluate trends from year to year. As those who attend fisheries council meetings know all too well, the models regularly show discrepancies from one year to the next. These “retrospective patterns” are corrected by amending previous years’ estimates, which indicate an ongoing problem with the models, Stokesbury said. Read the rest here 07:55

Video fish survey simple in concept, challenging in execution

smast 9 camera setupIn a multi-media world, conducting fishery stock assessment surveys was stuck in the early 20th century until Dr. Kevin Stokesbury came along.The marine scientist at the UMass School for Marine Science and Technology concluded more than a decade ago that if he could do it using underwater cameras, he could be far more accurate than bottom trawls using questionable net gear in questionable ways. The result is the booming scallop industry, confidently and sustainably fishing thanks to the process of photographing and literally counting the scallops on the ocean floor. They were abundant almost beyond belief. Read the rest here 11:48

UMass researchers win scallop fisheries grants

smastSMAST won $373,922 for Dr. Kevin Stokesbury’s continued development of video scallop surveys on Georges Bank. His methods have revolutionized the scallop biomass estimates in recent years, helping turn scallops into the species that keeps New Bedford at the top earning port in the United States for more than a decade. A grant of $160,738 went to Dr. Catherine O’Keefe for further development of a bycatch avoidance system that collects real-time information from fishermen about “hot spots” of yellowtail flounder, which can then be avoided by the scallopers. Read the rest here 08:34

Money Well Spent! $450,0000 in State Funding of Cooperative Fisheries Research at UMass Dartmouth

smast“UMass Dartmouth is fully committed to research that strengthens the scientific basis for fisheries management. Such research advanced the University’s mission to be an anchor of social and economic development for the region.” <Read more here> 08:03 Flow through fish survey video  2010 SMAST Video Survey 

New Bedford: Scallop buyers get lessons in science, regulation

deck load 2 enduranceScallop boats are allowed only about 32 days at sea per year, but scallops are so abundant and lucrative that working on a boat still can be extremely rewarding. Eastern Fisheries’ veteran captain Christopher Audette, who after 20 years on the water looks and sounds like someone from central casting, told the foreign visitors that deck hands on his boat took home more than $200,000 last year. Read more here  southcoast 07:53

SMAST Findings from “choke species” yellowtail survey bode well for scallopers – Video

smastDr. Kevin Stokesbury of the UMass School for Marine Science and Technology said that the eight trawls counted so far from the trip indicate plentiful yellowtail on Georges Bank, which is something that scallopers have contended for years. Stokesbury said that NOAA fisheries  estimates were that each of his trawls would yield five to 10 yellowtails. In fact, the SMAST team counted many times that amount, over 300 in one instance. [email protected]  10:13

Experimental Gear – Another try at video-counting the fish – Video

The black hull of owner Danny Eilertsen’ssct logo F/V Justice emerged in the distance on Tuesday as a half dozen marine researchers from UMass Dartmouth waited on Union Wharf in Fairhaven. Eilertsen’s boat is playing host to the second round of testing of a radically different method of counting fish, a notoriously difficult thing to do, but the thing that everybody says they want and need. Among those climbing aboard was Dr. Kevin Stokesbury, [email protected]

AUDIO: Dr. Kevin Stokesbury Discusses Alternative Survey Techniques for Stock Assessments at the MSA Reauthorization Oversight Committee Hearing

logo(We are so lucky to have this guy.) “To me the way forward is to get out there, and work with the fishermen measuring what’s going on.  If we can use new technologies to look at these populations clearly and simply, perhaps we can start grasping their underlying dynamics,” Dr. Stokesbury said. continued

SMAST Video Technology Shows Promise to Improve Groundfish and Flat Fish Stock Surveys

smastsavingseafood.org – Dr. Kevin Stokesbury, whose work in developing the SMAST Scallop Video Survey was essential to transforming scallop surveys in the 1990s, is collaborating again with the fishing industry, NOAA Fisheries, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, SIMRAD, and his colleagues from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) to improve groundfish and flat fish stock surveys using video data collection. This new method shows promise to improve accuracy by increasing spatial coverage and to allow the conducting of surveys without fish mortality. continued

Watch out, NOAA: SMAST is innovating again – GO SMAST, GO!!!

Dr. Kevin Stokesbury

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Dr. Kevin Stokesbury posed a challenge: How do you count fish in the ocean without killing them, in particular yellowtail flounder? It’s an important question because fishermen simply do not trust NOAA’s survey methods. Many believe fish are severely undercounted because the NOAA researchers on the ship Bigelow don’t seem to know what they are doing when they go fishing. It’s killing the industry. excitedly continued.