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UDaily: Research set-aside helps sustain Atlantic sea scallop fishery

UDaily: Research set-aside helps sustain Atlantic sea scallop fishery

A recent article in Nation’s Restaurant News calls the scallop “the mollusk of the moment,” but just 20 years ago, the U.S. fishery for Atlantic sea scallops was unsustainable, with the population near record lows and fishing at a record high.

Fortunately, the industry underwent a complete turnaround in the late 1990s through the collaborative work of scallop fishermen, scientists, fishery managers, and environmentalists. Now, a research set-aside program, funded entirely by proceeds from selling a portion of the annual sea scallop quota, is helping to ensure that the fishery remains healthy.

Art Trembanis, associate professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at the University of Delaware, is one of more than 30 researchers from 14 organizations to be awarded a research grant through the 2014-15 set-aside program, which is administered by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Trembanis leads the Coastal Sediments, Hydrodynamics, and Engineering Lab (C-SHEL) at UD.

Collaborators on the two-year $1.6-million project, which is addressing incidental mortality in sea scallops exposed to commercial dredging, include Doug Miller, a benthic oceanographer and ecologist in the School of Marine Science and Policy at UD, David Rudders from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and brothers Arthur and Kenneth Ochse, captains of the F/V Christian and Alexa.

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