Cod/Image, NOAA

Cod/Image, NOAA

On Wednesday, March 12, Stellwagen Bank Sanctuary Superintendent Craig MacDonald will be the featured speaker at the North and South Rivers Watershed Association‘s Water Watch Lecture Series. The talk begins at 7:00 p.m. at the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell, Massachusetts, off Rt. 123.

Proposed no bottom fishing zone.

Proposed no bottom fishing zone.

MacDonald’s talk—”Stellwagen’s Living Laboratory: An Unprecedented Ocean Research Opportunity”—will focus on the recent New England Fishery Management Council adoption of the Stellwagen Designated Habitat Research Area (DHRA) and reference area as a preferred alternative in the Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment.

The proposed DHRA includes a reference area that would exclude all types of bottom fishing capable of catching groundfish, along with party/charter and recreational fishing (fishing for tuna and other pelagic fish would be allowed). The reference area would serve as a control area for scientific studies on habitat use and recovery. Almost half of the research area would be located in the sanctuary.

Establishing a dedicated location for long-term research is a recommendation in the sanctuary’s Final Management Plan. The DHRA would be the first such area in the region. The New England Fishery Management Council will be holding public hearings on the amendment this summer.

The lecture is free.

For more information visit the North and South Rivers Watershed Association’s website.


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