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2020 Ecosystem Monitoring of the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf: Hydrographic and Plankton Cruise Directory

July 14, 2022

Despite delays caused by the 2020 global pandemic, we completed coverage of the Mid-Atlantic region in the late winter.

 Microscopic view of a planktonic animal with long antennae, visible paired feeding appendages, and 5 pairs of legs with the modified fifth pair indicating that it is a male.
Adult Centropages typicus, a planktonic animal common in the waters of the Northeast U.S. shelf. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Katey Marancik

Spring Bottom Trawl Survey - HB2001

A map showing the locations of each type of sample and the order they were sampled (lines connecting dots). These stations cover the shelf from Cape Hatteras to Long Island. The locations of planned stations that were not sampled are also included, covering the shelf from Long Island north and east through Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine.
A map of the Northeast U.S. coastline showing locations of sampling covered by the 2020 spring bottom trawl survey, from Cape Hatteras to Maine and southern Nova Scotia. Credit NOAA Fisheries/Map by Chris Melrose
  • Dates of survey: March 2–18, 2020
  • Stations Sampled: 132
  • Conductivity, Temperature, Depth measurements: 131 stations
  • Dissolved inorganic carbon, total alkalinity, pH, and nutrients measurement: 15 (25?) water casts
  • Plankton: 36 Bongo tows
A map showing the locations of bongo tows planned throughout the northeast U.S. shelf and the completed bongo tows south of Long Island.  The map is also color coded for the percent of the subregion that was completed. The Mid-Atlantic region, from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to central New Jersey, was 100% completed. The southern New England region, from central New Jersey to Georges Bank, was 0-25% complete. The Georges Bank and Gulf of Maine regions were 0% complete.
Map of coastline from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to Maine and southern Nova Scotia, showing the locations of planned (small cross) and completed (circles) bongo tows. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Map by Chris Melrose

The survey ended prematurely when the pandemic delayed all surveys in mid-March. However, the survey provided complete coverage of the Mid-Atlantic region from south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to Long Island, New York. Although unusual for the spring bottom trawl survey, we have missed regions of sampling in the past. We are developing methods to bridge these data gaps.

For details on the conductivity, temperature, depth profiler data collected during this cruise, check out the HB2001 Hydrographic Data report.

Northern Right Whale Survey - GM2002

 A map showing sampling stations distributed to the south and east of Nantucket Island.
Map of Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts coastline showing the locations of bongo tows and Video Plankton Recorder tows over the area known as Nantucket Shoals. Credit NOAA Fisheries/Map by Harvey Walsh
  • Dates of survey: February 23–26 and March 11–13, 2020
  • Stations Sampled: 9
  • Conductivity, Temperature, Depth measurements: 8 stations
  • Plankton: 9 Bongo tows

The overall objective of this survey was to collect samples of the planktonic prey and the environment near North Atlantic right whales in the southern New England region. We want to know what prey species are most abundant and why, so we can understand the needs of large whales in the area.

For a detailed description of the at-sea operations and analyses, check out the 2020 Annual AMAPPS III Report.

For details on the CTD data collected during this cruise, check out the GM2002 Hydrographic Data report.

Northern Shrimp, Spring, Summer, and Fall Ecosystem Monitoring, and Autumn Bottom Trawl Surveys Canceled

Six additional cruises would normally collect hydrographic or plankton data throughout the rest of the year. We evaluated each cruise individually, but ultimately canceled them while we developed safety protocols and learned more about how coronavirus is transmitted.

Over the long history of our sampling, we have missed some seasons and the number of annual surveys has varied. We have developed analytical methods to bridge these data gaps.

The following announcements further describe the decisions made for:

Learn more about the Northeast U.S. Hydrographic and Plankton Surveys

Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on 09/23/2022

Zooplankton Studies