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Department of Fisheries Oceanography Weekly Graduate Seminar - Sam Asci

When: Wednesday, March 1, 2023
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Where: > See description for location
Description: The School for Marine Science and Technology
Department of Fisheries Oceanography
Weekly Graduate Seminar Announcement

“Scallop fishery bycatch on eastern Georges Bank: considering tradeoffs between fishery management objectives”

Sam Asci
New England Fishery Management Council

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
SMAST East, Rooms 101/102
And via Zoom

Abstract: The Atlantic sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) resource of the eastern United States supports one of the most valuable wild caught fisheries in the world. Eastern Georges Bank is known as one of the most productive scallop fishing areas throughout the resource and has supported the majority of commercial landings for the past several years. The scallops in the area, and by association the fishery, have historically overlapped with regulated stocks of flatfish, such as yellowtail and windowpane flounder, which are susceptible to scallop dredge gear as bycatch. The scallop fishery is subject to catch limits and regulatory restrictions if limits are exceeded for these flatfish stocks, which have shown continuous decline in population size for several years. The New England Fishery Management Council manages both the offshore scallop resource and flatfish species that co-occur on Georges Bank, and therefore must balance the tradeoffs between competing management objectives, such as optimizing yield for target stocks while also reducing impacts to non-target stocks. The Council has adapted scallop management on eastern Georges Bank over time to account for these tradeoffs by employing tools such as rotational management, gear restrictions, and seasonal closures; however, non-target flatfish populations continue to dwindle, and yellowtail and windowpane bycatch continues to push or exceed the limits allocated to the scallop fishery. Understanding the effectiveness of recent proactive and reactive management measures, as well as the data and analyses that they are based on, is critically important as the scallop fishery becomes increasingly reliant on eastern Georges Bank. This seminar will describe the evolution of measures employed to reduce flatfish bycatch on eastern Georges Bank and will consider the management tradeoffs of mitigating impacts to non-target stocks and optimizing yield in the scallop fishery.

Bio: Sam Asci is a scallop fishery analyst for the New England Fishery Management Council. He received a BS in Fisheries Ecology and Conservation from UMass Amherst in 2013 and a MS in Marine Science and Technology from SMAST in 2016 under the guidance of Dr. Kevin Stokesbury. Sam worked in Dr. Stokesbury’s lab between 2011 and 2017 in support of the drop camera survey used to assess scallop resources in offshore and inshore areas of the US, as well as various other industry based surveys. In his current role as a Fishery Analyst, Sam supports the Council’s decision-making process for the Scallop Fishery Management Plan, which includes working with fishermen, scientists, and fishery managers to establish annual catch limits and to develop measures that meet the objectives for the scallop fishery.
Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 937 5823 0260
Passcode: 426839

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Contact: > See Description for contact information
Topical Areas: School for Marine Sciences and Technology, SMAST Seminar Series