Spatial Variability in Key Life History Parameters for Groundfish Species in the Gulf of Maine

Thursday, September 12, 2013: 8:20 AM
Conway (The Marriott Little Rock)
Jocelyn Runnebaum , School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, ME
Yong Chen , School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, ME
Anna Henry , School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, ME
The Eastern Gulf of Maine has not supported a viable groundfish fishery since the 1990s. Penobscot East Resource Center and the University of Maine have developed the Eastern Gulf of Maine Sentinel Survey/Fishery to collect fishery independent information necessary for fisheries stock assessment and management in an area that is not covered by state and federal monitoring programs.  The demersal longline survey/fishery is now in the second phase of implementation with sampling stations being chosen following stratified random design or by fishermen’s choice. To increase spatial coverage of inshore waters a jigging component to the survey was added in 2012. Using data collected from the Sentinel Survey/Fishery in conjunction with groundfish bycatch data from the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) lobster sea sampling program, the DMR inshore bottom trawl survey, and National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) offshore bottom trawl survey we will evaluate spatial variability in key life history parameters for Atlantic cod, Atlantic halibut, cusk, and white hake in the Gulf of Maine and identify key environmental variables that may influence the spatial variability. The results can provide important information in delineating spatial structure of these fish species and possible needs in developing area-based management in the Gulf of Maine.