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2022 NOAA Northeast Sea Scallop Survey Results

June 27, 2022

Three legs, 29 days at sea, and a little rough weather round out the 2022 survey.

A color image taken in a well-lit laboratory counter. A ruler is laid horizontally in the center of the image in the background. Three larger scallops are laid side-by-side along the top edge of the ruler and three smaller scallops are laid side-by-side along the lower edge. Each scallop has distinct, and different, striped patterns on the top shells. Atlantic sea scallops collected during the 2022 survey show the variety in coloration for this species. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Christine Kircun

The NOAA Fisheries Integrated Sea Scallop and HabCam Research Survey is in the books for 2022. Scientists and crew completed their work aboard the University of Delaware’s R/V Hugh R. Sharp on June 13, 2022.

The Atlantic sea scallop population is surveyed every summer by NOAA Fisheries and partnering research groups. This year those partners are the Coonamessett Farm Foundation, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth School of Marine Science and Technology.  Each partner surveys an assigned area using similar methods and a standardized survey design. Here, we are reporting results for the survey areas allocated to the NOAA Fisheries-based effort, led by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

Resulting data are used for fishery stock assessments, fishery management, and biological studies. Sea scallops are one of the most valuable commercial fishery species in the nation.

Leg 1 of the survey was conducted May 14 to 23 off the Mid-Atlantic and southern Georges Bank. Researchers deployed the stereo camera and sensor system known as HabCam V4.

Leg 2 was conducted from May 25 to June 3, and Leg 3 operated from June 5 to June 13. On these legs, we deployed both HabCam V4 and a scallop dredge. The dredge is a standardized 8-foot wide New Bedford sea scallop dredge that collects sea scallops for biological analyses.

HabCam Survey Transect Completion by Cruise Leg

Overall, the survey completed 98 percent of the planned transects. Rough seas led to some lost time and required the Great South Channel HabCam transect to be modified slightly for Leg 3. Each leg of the cruise covered different areas:

  • Leg 1 completed 1,124 nautical miles of HabCam survey transects—100 percent of the planned work—off the Mid-Atlantic and south of Closed Area I on Georges Bank
  • Leg 2 covered 300 nautical miles of survey transects—100 percent of the planned work—on the northern flank of Georges Bank and in Closed Area II
  • Leg 3 completed 300 nautical miles of survey track out of 341 nm scheduled—88 percent of the planned work— in the difficult and challenging Great South Channel and Closed Area I

Dredge Survey Completion by Region

Overall, the NOAA Fisheries survey completed 87 percent of planned stations, 120 of 138. All of those planned dredge stations were located in the southern New England and Georges Bank areas. The Mid-Atlantic dredge survey is conducted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

Survey Transects and Stations

The survey area off the Mid-Atlantic coast represented by a jagged area that reaches from Long Island to Maryland. Colored lines drawn within the area represent survey tracks, and dots represent dredge stations.
Mid-Atlantic HabCam and dredge survey transects. NEFSC=Northeast Fisheries Science Center, CFF=Coonamessett Farm Foundation, VIMS=Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Credit: NOAA Fisheries
The survey area off Southern New England and on Georges Bank represented by a jagged area that reaches from coastal waters off Cape Cod to Rhode Island, the channel to the west of Georges Bank and the northern and southern edges of Georges Bank. Colored lines drawn within the area represent Habcam survey tracks, and dots represent dredge stations.
Southern New England-Georges Bank HabCam transects and dredge survey stations. NEFSC=Northeast Fisheries Science Center, CFF=Coonamessett Farm Foundation, VIMS=Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Credit: NOAA Fisheries
The survey area off Southern New England and on Georges Bank with dots within the area marking completed and dropped dredge stations.
Southern New England-Georges Bank dredge survey stations completed by NOAA Fisheries in the 2022 sea scallop survey. Credit: NOAA Fisheries

Detail of 2022 dredge stations completed by survey stratum. The sea scallop survey strata are subareas within the larger survey area, defined by depth.

Stratum COMPLETED DROPPED Grand Total Percent Complete

06460

2

0

2

100

06470

8

0

8

100

06490

8

0

8

100

06500

15

1

16

93.75

06510

9

0

9

100

06520

15

2

17

88.24

06530

9

2

11

81.82

06540

5

4

9

55.56

06550

9

0

9

100

06651

9

3

12

75

06661

9

1

10

90

06710

18

3

21

85.71

06720

2

1

3

66.67

06740

2

1

3

66.67

Grand Total

120

18

138

86.96

Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on July 22, 2022