August 7, 2014
New research by a Maine-based marine biologist could have big implications for fisheries management in the Gulf of Maine.
The study, authored by University of New England professor James Sulikowski, suggests that a voracious predator known as spiny dogfish may be far more prevalent in the Gulf of Maine than originally thought, and could be more of a threat to other species.
Sulikowski used satellite tagging technology to track the movement of some 40 dogfish, from the Gulf of Maine down to the mid-Atlantic, something that had never been done before.
He says conventional wisdom is that dogfish in East Coast waters move around in one huge population, in packs of 10,000 or more.
"The old paradigm on their moving patterns was that essentially they would spend the summers and fall up here in the Gulf of Maine and then travel like snowbirds down to North Carolina and then back up here in the spring, and so that was old paradigm, sort of this big long packlike movement of these moving on the bottom," Sulikowski says.
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