NEW BEDFORD — Five fisheries scientists based in Woods Hole came to the city Wednesday and spelled out the details of a new yellowtail flounder survey to be performed from commercial fishing vessels in August.
The effort is designed to bring commercial fishermen into the process of conducting surveys, and to give the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's survey ship Bigelow something to compare to.
The NOAA is looking for two boats big enough to berth five scientists and five crew members, who will work 24-hour days in shifts for 12 days. They will survey Closed Area 2 on Georges Bank, just west of the Hague line, where yellowtail populations are typically concentrated.
The need for large boats with so many berths and the capacity to carry enough fuel and provisions may exclude many yellowtail fishermen, who typically operate smaller boats. So NOAA wants to include yellowtail fishermen as part of the scientific team or even as co-captain or first mate on the large boat.
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