Fishermen, families, 7th grade students, Cub Scouts, community residents, members of the media, and two staff members from Congressman William Keating's New Bedford District Office were among the visitors to the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s (NEFSC’s) 72-foot research vessel Gloria Michelle during a port call October 19 at New Bedford’s State Pier.
“We had a varied audience, and it was a great opportunity to share research we do on that vessel in local waters with local residents and the fishing community,” said Michele Traver, who helped coordinate the event. “We made some good connections and had time for in-depth discussions with those who came aboard. There were lots of good questions. It was a great day, both in terms of weather and content!”
Visitors learned about the Center’s cooperative research with the fishing industry, the Gloria Michelle's groundfish survey in state waters conducted twice a year with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and the annual summer shrimp survey in the Gulf of Maine. Participants also learned how fish are aged using their earbones, or otoliths, viewed a variety of fish species caught in the surveys, and learned about ship operations and life aboard the vessel. Safety at sea was addressed in a dockside exhibit of survival suits, a favorite of the students and young visitors who tried them on for size.
Staff from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries office in New Bedford, the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries port agent office in New Bedford, and NEFSC staff participated in the visit. A similar event was held in August aboard the Gloria Michelle in Boston.