herring schools

The transponders use sonar to bounce a soundwave off of a school of fish. The soundwave can tell a reader if the school is made up of herring of another Gulf of Maine species. Image courtesy Curt Brown/GMRI.

Inshore Herring Acoustic Survey
The MLCA worked with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), based in Portland, Maine, to launch an inshore herring acoustic survey to assess the abundance and population structure of the inshore Atlantic herring stocks. Atlantic herring are the primary bait for Maine’s lobster fishery; providing a fresh, local and disease free bait source.

The MLCA provided outreach support and managed contracts with lobstermen for use of their lobster vessels to conduct this research. MLCA contracted with ten lobster boats, outfitted with acoustic equipment supplied through this project, to survey Atlantic herring populations in nearshore waters along the coast of Maine. This research is expanding our knowledge of the inshore Gulf of Maine herring resource and promote its sustainable management.

To learn more about the surveys, read these articles published in Landings:


Colored rope pallet

Right whales may be able to see and avoid colored rope.

Reduce Lobster Gear Entanglements with Endangered Whales
The MLCA partnered with the New England Aquarium, based in Boston, Massachusetts, to test whether colored fishing ropes provide endangered whales a visual deterrent, thereby averting entanglements. Ropes used by Maine lobstermen occasionally entangle large whales, including the endangered North Atlantic right and humpback whales. MLCA recruited and contracted with lobstermen to show the efficacy of using colored ropes in the Maine lobster fishery.

To learn more about whales, read these articles published in Landings: