R/22-24-NESGR-Beard: Can Proprietary Commercial Lobstering Data be Used to Inform Offshore Wind Development?

Kate Beard-Tisdale
University of Maine

No comprehensive, fine-scale temporal-spatial coverage of the lobster fishery currently exists that supports navigating a marine environment that is rapidly changing with respect to human use and ocean climate. This project aims to fill the gap by developing a standardized procedure for constructing accurate spatial and temporal representations of the Maine lobster fishery using the data and knowledge of individual fishermen.

This project is a scoping study with the following objectives:

  1. develop and test a proof of concept that high quality, fine-scale aggregate spatial temporal representations of the Maine lobster fishery can be generated from individual fisherman’s Personal Computer (PC)-based navigation and plotter data;
  2. assure that the proof of concept addresses the proprietary nature of the individual fisherman’s data contributions; and
  3. develop product specifications and initial sample products that will meet the needs of fisheries management and marine spatial planning.

The proof of concept will be developed through direct collaboration with lobstermen in partnership with the Maine Lobstermen’s Association and Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, UMaine’s Lobster Institute, and under the governance structures of the Fisheries Knowledge Trust. We will assess different PC chart plotter/navigation system formats, collect data from a set of volunteer lobstermen, collaboratively develop data product models, anonymize individual fisherman’s data, and develop and evaluate data aggregations at different levels of spatial and temporal granularity.

Sea Grant funds: $192,924.00

This project is funded through a partnership between the Northeast Sea Grant Consortium, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office, and NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, to advance social science and technology research for the coexistence of offshore energy with Northeast fishing and coastal communities.