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Joint Workshops Held to Refine NOAA/USGS Benthic Habitat Initiative

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Most of the Nation's fisheries are in decline, and it is not clear to what extent fishing gear that disrupts the seabed habitat contributes to that decline. The USGS and NOAA developed a joint initiative following a 1998 workshop to fund additional research toward understanding the effects of fishing gear on seabed habitats and the extent of those effects. NOAA is beginning to see a bit of new funding for habitat research and is strongly encouraging USGS participation.

A west coast workshop was held in Seaside, California, on January 21, in conjunction with the California Marine Habitat Task Force Strategic Planning Meeting at California State University, Monterey Bay. Peter Barnes, Jim Gardner, Guy Cochrane, Hali Kilbourne, and Steve Eittreim represented the USGS/CMGP, and Gary Greene and Tracy Vallier brought additional USGS perspective to the meeting. The emphasis was on geological aspects of habitat mapping. The California and NOAA management agencies emphasized the need for broad perspectives and maps of coastal and shelf habitat in addition to the more visible site-specific and species-specific studies.

A second workshop was held in Juneau, Alaska, on January 25-27 with Peter Barnes, Jim Taggart, and Philip Hooge representing USGS interests. NOAA's focus in Alaska was to assess the effects of fishing gear (dredges, trawls, traps, long lines, derelict gear) on habitat. Again the managers' desire to extrapolate site-specific work to regional fishery-management regions was discussed, as well as the need for site-specific habitat mapping. Another area of research concern was related to defining the difference (or similarity) between natural and fishing-induced seabed disturbance.

Additional USGS/NOAA workshops are anticipated in the Northeast and Southeast regions in the spring as we seek to influence program planning for 2002 and beyond.

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Moloka'i Coral Reef Study Pt. 1

Moloka'i Coral Reef Study Pt. 2

Massachusetts Bay Cruise

Research Two New Web Sites

Outreach Sandwich High School

English & Metric Units

Meetings Tsunami Workshop

NOAA/USGS Benthic Habitat Initiative

Sustainable Seas

USGS/Geological Survey of Canada


Science Education Partnership

GD Safety

Awards Thomas Jefferson Medal

CMG "Youngster" Wins Science Award

Winning Photo

Senate Commendation

Staff & Center News Presentations

BRD in St. Pete

Woods Hole Community Activities

Dillon & Winters on BBC Radio

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