Attention Fishermen: The Black Sea Bass Research Fleet is Expanding!

The CFRF is currently soliciting applications from fishermen interested in joining the Black Sea Bass Research Fleet for one open position. Priority will be given to vessels which interact with black sea bass, targeted or as bycatch, through the winter months. Offshore lobster and crab vessels are particularly encouraged to apply. Monthly Research Fleet responsibilities include sampling 150 black sea bass (size/sex) at sea using the On Deck Data app and collecting 50 black sea bass for diet and age/growth analysis at RI DEM

To apply, fill out an application (available HERE) and submit it to CFRF either via email, fax, or mail. The deadline for applications is September 9, 2019.

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The CFRF and RI DEM launched the Black Sea Bass Research Fleet in December 2016 and have been collecting data ever since. Currently the Research Fleet employs 12 commercial fishermen from a variety of gear types collecting biological and fishery data on black sea bass they interact with during routine commercial fishing. All data is collected at-sea by the fishermen and will ultimately feed back into the stock assessment by creating catch and discard characterizations for each fishing Fleet to help reduce uncertainties.

For more information on the Research Fleet, the project webpage can be found HERE or read the project briefing document available HERE.

For further information about the project or the application process, please contact Thomas Heimann at 401-515-4892 or theimann@cfrfoundation.org

HARVESTING RHODE ISLAND SERIES: RI FISHING COMMUNITY DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE

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The CFRF is excited to announce the premiere of the ‘Harvesting RI Series: RI Fishing Community Documentary” on Rhode Island PBS, Friday, August 23, 2019 at 8pm (channel 8, HD channel 508).

The documentary was a collaborative effort between Caserta Productions, the RI fishing community, and the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation. This film promotes public awareness, explores how traditional systems can be creatively maintained and become more dynamic, and covers how fishermen have responded to changing technology and markets. The project was funded by a USDA Rural Business Development Grant.

The CFRF would like to thank the fishermen and fishing industry members who generously gave their time to participate in this documentary.


2019-2020 Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Awards Announced

The CFRF is pleased to announce our recent selection for the 2019-2020 Scallop RSA program. We are excited to get the project underway and to be among other great institutions spearheading regional scallop research!

The CFRF, in collaboration with Gulf of Maine Inc., will test the N-Viro dredge aboard limited access and general category scallop vessels to learn whether the gear will reduce bycatch and improve fuel efficiency. The N-Viro dredge was designed and successfully used in Scotland’s scallop fisheries. To read more about this year’s scallop RSA and other funded projects click HERE.

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Attention Fishermen: The Black Sea Bass Research Fleet is Expanding!

The CFRF is currently soliciting applications from fishermen interested in joining the Black Sea Bass Research Fleet for two open positions. Monthly Research Fleet responsibilities include sampling 150 black sea bass (size/sex) at sea using the On Deck Data app and collecting 50 black sea bass for diet and age/growth analysis at RI DEM

To apply, fill out an application (available HERE) and submit it to CFRF either via email, fax, or mail. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 29, 2019.

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The CFRF and RI DEM launched the Black Sea Bass Research Fleet in December 2016. The Black Sea Bass Research Fleet currently employs ten Rhode Island commercial and recreational fishermen, from a variety of gear types, to collect biological and fishery data on black sea bass throughout the year. Fishermen collect data during routine fishing practices using the On Deck Data app. Data includes fishing effort metrics and size and sex of individual black sea bass. Ultimately, the data will be used to create catch and discard characterizations of the black sea bass fishery to help reduce uncertainty within the stock assessment. For more information about the project and Research Fleet Member responsibilities CLICK HERE.

 

If you have questions please contact Thomas Heimann at theimann@cfrfoundation.org or 401-515-4892.

RI Senate Resolution Recognizes Fishing Industry

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The CFRF is pleased to share that the State of Rhode Island General Assembly recently passed a Senate Resolution that recognizes the value of Rhode Island’s fishing industry, as hard-working harvesters and processors of seafood and drivers of the state’s work force and economy. The resolution, titled “Expressing Appreciation and Support for all Rhode Island Fishers and the Rhode Island Commercial Fishing Industry” is a well-deserved acknowledgement of the men and women who risk their lives on the North Atlantic and navigate a complex and conservative regulatory environment to bring premier, sustainable seafood to the mouths of millions.

The Resolution states that “As a result of this turmoil in their industry, our fishers know how to engage in the complex issues and policymaking processes that impact their businesses. They protect our community and ocean environment, and promote and market local seafood, and pilot sustainable fishing practices.” The Resolution goes on to state that “Rhode Island’s fishing and seafood industry is a crucial component of what makes us the Ocean State. Now, therefore, be it resolved, that this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby expresses its sincerest admiration and appreciation and utmost respect for all Rhode Island fishers and the Rhode Island commercial fishing industry.”

The CFRF is grateful to Senators Sosnowski, McCaffrey, Sheehan, Euer, and Algiere, who introduced the resolution. And, more, to the thousands of individuals in Rhode Island that play a role in the fishing and seafood industry. We are honored to work alongside all of you to ensure a bright future for this industry and the ocean environment that it relies upon.

To view the Senate Resolution in its entirety, please visit www.cfrfoundation.org/news-releases .

New Release: The Economic Impact of Rhode Island’s Fisheries and Seafood Sector

The CFRF is pleased to release a report titled “The Economic Impact of Rhode Island's Fisheries and Seafood Sector”, which is the result of a collaboration with Dr. Tom Sproul at the University of Rhode Island. This study is the first to measure the economic impact of the RI Fisheries and Seafood Sector using an approach in which businesses are hand-counted to estimate jobs, gross sales, and economic impacts across the state.

Rhode Island's Fisheries and Seafood Sector includes commercial fishing and shellfishing, fishing charters, processing, professional service firms, retail and wholesale seafood dealers, service and supply firms, and tackle shops. Including spillover effects across all sectors of the Rhode Island economy, the total economic impact of the Rhode Island Fisheries and Seafood Sector was 4,381 jobs and $538.3 million in 2016. To facilitate policy discussion, the study also estimated multipliers for X-Vessel landings values for jobs (32.43 jobs per $million) and economic impact (3.06).  

Based upon Tom Sproul's past work, the RI Fisheries and Seafood Sector has a greater economic impact than many of RI's other natural resource sectors, including Agriculture ($240 million), Forestry ($407 million), Composites Manufacturing ($300 million), and Parks and Beaches ($310 million). The CFRF is hopeful that this work will give decision makers the data and impetus to better support Rhode Island’s fishing and seafood community 

To learn more, please view or download the full report and technical appendix HERE

The CFRF is grateful to the Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for their support of this work.

CFRF Recognized as 2018 Best Non-Profit in Collaboration by the Rhode Island Foundation

The Rhode Island Foundation, with sponsorship from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, has honored five nonprofit organizations, including the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation, with its 2018 Best Practice Awards. These Awards recognize outstanding practices by Rhode Island nonprofit organizations in the areas of Advocacy and Communications, Board and Staff Leadership, Collaboration, Innovation and Volunteer Engagement. 

“Our recipients rose from a highly competitive process and an extraordinary group of nominees. There is something in each of their noteworthy accomplishments that can help nonprofits become even more productive,” said Jill Pfitzenmayer, who oversees the Rhode Island Foundation’s capacity-building programs for nonprofits. 

“The best practice awards highlight the enormously important role played by Rhode Island’s nonprofit organizations in improving our lives and communities, and we’re grateful to join the Rhode Island Foundation in celebrating the outstanding work of winners and hope to inspire and encourage these outstanding practices among all within the sector,” said Carolyn Belisle, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s Managing Director of Community Relations. 

The Collaboration Award was presented to the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (CFRF) for its work building a community of collaboration among fishermen, scientists, resource managers, and food professionals that promotes sound science, sustainable seafood, and vibrant fishing communities. Founded by and led by members of Rhode Island's fishing community, CFRF develops practical solutions to scientific and supply chain challenges, such as providing fishermen with specialized apps to collect data while at sea and developing digital maps of seafood access points in Rhode Island. Since 2004, the CFRF has engaged over 150 fishermen and over 300 scientists and seafood professionals in its work. 

“All of the partners that CFRF works with speak their own language, use their own jargon, and harbor assumptions about others involved in fisheries and seafood. The CFRF provides a venue for these groups to come together to find common ground and advance the sustainability of fisheries resources and coastal communities,” said Dr. Anna Mercer, CFRF’s executive director.

To read the full press release and watch a short video from the Rhode Island Foundation, click HERE.

Attention Rhode Island Fishermen: The Black Sea Bass Research Fleet is Expanding!

The CFRF is currently soliciting applications from fishermen interested in joining the Black Sea Bass Research Fleet. Priority will be given to applicants that operate year-round and interact with black sea bass during the winter months. Fishermen that operate further south towards the Mid-Atlantic Bight are also encouraged to apply. Monthly Research Fleet responsibilities include sampling 150 black sea bass (size/sex) at sea using the On Deck Data app and collecting 50 black sea bass for diet and age/growth analysis at RI DEM

To apply, fill out an application (available HERE) and submit it to CFRF either via email, fax, or mail. The deadline for applications is Friday, November 16, 2018.

The CFRF and RI DEM launched the Black Sea Bass Research Fleet in December 2016. The Black Sea Bass Research Fleet currently employs nine Rhode Island commercial and recreational fishermen, from a variety of gear types, to collect biological and fishery data on black sea bass throughout the year. Fishermen collect data during routine fishing practices using the On Deck Data app. Data includes fishing effort metrics and size and sex of individual black sea bass. Ultimately, the data will be used to create catch and discard characterizations of the black sea bass fishery to help reduce uncertainty within the stock assessment. For more information about the project and Research Fleet Member responsibilities CLICK HERE.

If you have questions, please contact Thomas Heimann at theimann@cfrfoundation.org or 401-515-4892.

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Call for Applications: Lobster and Jonah Crab F/Vs

The CFRF is currently seeking two commercial fishing vessels to join the Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Fleet to help fill offshore data gaps (areas in red below).  Do you fish in these areas? Do you know someone who does? Apply today!

Responsibilities:

·        F/Vs sample a minimum of 300 lobsters or 60 commercial traps per month.

·        F/Vs sample a minimum of 150 Jonah crabs or 60 commercial traps per month.

·        F/Vs sample lobster and Jonah crab from ventless traps provided by CFRF.

Compensation:

·        The total stipend amount for the tasks listed above = $600 per month.

·        Stipend is broken down in the following manner: $300/month for 3 commercial lobster sampling sessions, and $300/month for 3 commercial Jonah crab sampling sessions

Timeline:

·        The timeline for this project is from July 2018 through June 2020.

For more information about the Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Fleet please visit our project website (CLICK HERE).

For more information about participant responsibilities and sampling protocols CLICK HERE.

If you would like to apply to participate in the Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Fleet, please fill out the application and submit to CFRF either via email, fax or mail. To download the vessel application, CLICK HERE.

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Interested? Please contact Aubrey Ellertson, Research Associate, CFRF

Email: aellertson@cfrfoundation.org, Phone: (401) 515-4892

Applications are due to the CFRF by Monday, October 15th.

CFRF Releases RI Seafood Materials

The CFRF is pleased to release a series of educational, promotional, and practical materials focusing on Rhode Island Seafood that were developed in collaboration with Brown University. Two videos, infographics, and a RI Seafood Supplier Directory are now available on CFRF's Sustainable Seafood in the Ocean State webpage. Thank you to Nico Page, Stefany Garcia, Meagan Peters, Maya Gros, and Dr. Dawn King for working with us!

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Thursday, August 30th: CFRF Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Session

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Please join the CFRF and its collaborators for a Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Session on Thursday, August 30, 2018 from 4-6 PM in the conference room of the Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island. The Research Session will include:

  • Discussion of the Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Fleet, including reflections from participant fishermen, data summaries, plans for the future, and viewing of the project documentary video.
  • Presentations from collaborators at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries on research surrounding Jonah crab size at sexual maturity and the sustainability of the Jonah crab fishery
  • Presentation from lobster and Jonah crab stock assessment scientist at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, focusing on the use of the Research Fleet’s data in the lobster stock assessment and Jonah crab management plan.
  • Presentation from the University of Rhode Island involving collecting fishermen's knowledge to inform management of Jonah crab in Southern New England
  • And more!

Please RSVP to Aubrey at aellertson@cfrfoundation.org or (401) 515-4892.

Directions to the CFC of RI can be found here: http://www.cfrfoundation.org/contact-us/

For more information please visit our project webpage: http://www.cfrfoundation.org/jonah-crab-lobster-research-fleet/

Can not attend in person? Please attend meeting via conference call: http://global.gotomeeting.com/join/251547325 . You can also dial in using your phone (571) 317-3122. Conference passcode: 251-547-325

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sincerely,

The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation

Join CFRF at the 148th Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society!

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The CFRF staff are excited to be heading down to Atlantic City, NJ for the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting from August 19th-23rd! (https://afsannualmeeting.fisheries.org/)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 is Stakeholder Engagement Day! Stakeholders will have the opportunity to learn about the latest research and issues impacting their industries, and discuss collaborative opportunities with scientists and fishery managers.

The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation will be hosting and presenting at three symposiums on Tuesday, August 21st that go from 9:00am-5pm. They are the following:

1) American Lobster and Jonah Crabs: Assessing Biological and Fishery Impacts, and Stock Status in a Rapidly Changing Ecosystem (Full day symposium. CFRF presentation at 3:00pm)

2) Latest Advances in Black Sea Bass Research and Management (Full day symposium. CFRF presentation at 4:40pm)

3) Bringing in the Experts: Collaborative Research Partnerships with Fishing Industry Stakeholders (Full day symposium. CFRF presentation at 11:20am)

We are excited to share information about CFRF’s Research Fleets and our project results. We hope to see you there!

You're Invited: Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Session

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Please join the CFRF and its collaborators for a Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Session on Thursday, August 30, 2018 from 4-6 PM in the conference room of the Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island. The Research Session will include:

  • Discussion of the Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Fleet, including reflections from participant fishermen, data summaries, plans for the future, and viewing of the project documentary video.
  • The CFRF Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Fleet was developed in 2013 and has involved over 20 F/Vs in collecting biological and environmental data using digital calipers and specialized tablet apps. To date, the Research Fleet has sampled over 112,000 lobsters and 54,000 Jonah crabs. This June marked 5 years of data collection!
  • Presentations from collaborators at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries on research surrounding Jonah crab size at sexual maturity and the sustainability of the Jonah crab fishery
  • Presentations from lobster and Jonah crab stock assessment scientists at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, focusing on the use of the Research Fleet’s data in the lobster stock assessment and Jonah crab management plan.
  • And more!

Please RSVP to Aubrey at aellertson@cfrfoundation.org or (401) 515-4892.

Directions to the CFC of RI can be found here: http://www.cfrfoundation.org/contact-us/

For more information please visit our project webpage: http://www.cfrfoundation.org/jonah-crab-lobster-research-fleet/

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sincerely,

The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation

Invitation to Stakeholder Engagement Day, American Fisheries Society (AFS) 2018 Annual Meeting

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Dear Fishing Industry,

We're excited to announce Stakeholder Engagement Day on Tuesday, August 21 as a part of this year's annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Atlantic City, NJ (full meeting runs from August 19-23):  

Meeting website:  https://afsannualmeeting.fisheries.org/

Stakeholder Engagement Day is intended to increase the participation of industry stakeholders at the annual meeting to provide the opportunity to learn about the science and management impacting their industries, to stimulate collaborative industry-scientist partnerships, and provide greater opportunity for stakeholders to contribute to events at the meeting.

The schedule has been set so that many topics of greatest interest to industry stakeholders will occur on Stakeholder Engagement Day. There will be numerous presentations and discussion panels on topics related to collaborative research, fisheries management, offshore energy development, stakeholder engagement, resource surveys, electronic monitoring, summer flounder, black sea bass, sturgeon, lobster, Jonah crab, and much more!

The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation will be hosting and presenting at three symposiums on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 that go from 9:00am-5pm. They are the following:

-American Lobster and Jonah Crabs: Assessing Biological and Fishery Impacts, and Stock Status in a Rapidly Changing Ecosystem (Full day symposium. CFRF presentation at 3:00pm)

-Latest Advances in Black Sea Bass Research and Management (Full day symposium. CFRF presentation at 4:40pm)

-Bringing in the Experts: Collaborative Research Partnerships with Fishing Industry Stakeholders (Full day symposium. CFRF presentation at 11:20am)

We are excited to share information about CFRF’s Research Fleets and our project results!

Full schedule for the meeting:  https://afsannualmeeting.fisheries.org/preliminary-schedule/

List of symposium sessions by day:   https://afs.confex.com/afs/2018/meetingapp.cgi/Program/1086

A reduced daily registration rate of $50 per person (full price is normally $330) is available for qualifying industry stakeholders who wish to attend on Stakeholder Engagement Day on Tuesday, August 21. Please complete the short application at the link below by August 15 to apply for reduced registration. But, be sure to apply early to guarantee a ticket to the evening networking event with food and a cash bar at the Bass Pro Shops of Atlantic City from 5:00-7:30 PM! Applicants will be notified within two weeks whether or not their application has been approved, at which time they will be provided with additional information related to the meeting. The target audience for this reduced registration, and part of the criteria considered while reviewing applications, includes people who earn their primary living from fishing or aquaculture related businesses, or representatives of related businesses or associations.

Application for reduced registration:  https://goo.gl/forms/F6uHHN8VmoouIq6I2

If you have any questions, or would like more information, including opportunities to participate in discussion panels, present about your fishery, or potential sources for additional financial assistance to attend, then please contact one of the members of our Program Sub-Committee on Stakeholder Engagement (names and contact info below).

We're looking forward to seeing many of you in Atlantic City in August!

Sincerely,

The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation

 

Program Sub-Committee on Stakeholder Engagement

Chair – Dr. Douglas Zemeckis (Rutgers University): zemeckis@njaes.rutgers.edu

Dr. Eleanor Bochenek (Rutgers University): eboch@hsrl.rutgers.edu

Bill Duffy (NOAA): william.duffy@noaa.gov

Christopher McGuire (The Nature Conservancy): cmcguire@tnc.org

Dr. Jason Morson (Rutgers University): jmorson@hsrl.rutgers.edu

Kenneth Keene (NOAA): kenneth.keene@noaa.gov

George Maynard (Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance): george@capecodfishermen.org

Dr. Anna Malek Mercer (Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation): amalek@cfrfoundation.org

 

CFRF's Jonah Crab and Lobster Research Fleet Video Released!

The CFRF is proud to release a short film about Jonah crab, an emerging species of importance and value. The Jonah crab fishery has become increasingly important to the Southern New England industry as the lobster resource has declined. As of 2016, Jonah crab was ranked the 8th most valuable fishery in Rhode Island and the 7th most valuable fishery in Massachusetts!

The CFRF staff would like to convey our appreciation to our Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Fleet participants, and scientific partners for their contributions to this video.

To read more about the project and for project updates visit the project web page here.

Southern New England Cooperative Ventless Trap Survey Now Underway!

Phase II of the Southern New England Cooperative Ventless Trap Survey (SNECVTS) is officially underway!  After more than a year of preparation and anticipation, all the SNECVTS traps are now set in the Rhode Island/Massachusetts Wind Energy Area.  This month, teams will go out for the first day of catch sampling and lobster tagging around Cox’s Ledge.  If you find a tagged lobster, you can make some extra cash!  Instructions on how to report tagged lobsters can be found in the information sheet below, and on our website by clicking HERE.

If you’d like to find out more about SNECVTS, visit the project page on the CFRF website: http://www.cfrfoundation.org/snecvts/.

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Unusual Ocean Conditions in Southern New England: Insights from the Pioneer Array and Shelf Research Fleet

On April 18th, Dr. Glen Gawarkiewicz and Dr. Al Plueddemann from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution shared a summary of the oceanographic data collected by the CFRF/WHOI Shelf Research Fleet and provided an update on the Ocean Observatories Initiative’s Pioneer Array.

The data collected by CFRF's Shelf Research Fleet has been used by oceanographers at WHOI to better understand how the ocean is changing and what that means for the resource species that commercial fishermen harvest. To date, CFRF's Shelf Research Fleet has collected over 442 profiles.

For those of you who were unable to attend the Oceanographic Conditions meeting on April 18th, please check out the attached presentation HERE!

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Image from April 14, 2018 of Shelf conditions south of New England. Shelf is cool and free of Gulf Stream/Warm Core Ring influences.
 

CFRF April 2018 Newsletter Now Available!

If you are interested in learning more about all the current projects CFRF has underway, including recent milestones, and all the happenings within the foundation, either view or download a copy of our April 2018 newsletter.  In it we cover all project progress since our last newsletter, highlight new projects which have recently begun, and list upcoming events and meetings.

View the April 2018 newsletter here.

Download the April 2018 newsletter here.

To view and download all our past newsletters visit this link.

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CFRF Quahog Research Fleet Video Released!

In celebration of a successful Quahog Week here in Rhode Island, the CFRF is proud to release a short film on all the hard work our Quahog Research Fleet partners in the industry, science, and management fields have been up to in support of the quahog fishery. 

The quahog fishery is Narragansett Bay's most valuable fishery and it is through working partnerships, such as those formed in the Quahog Research Fleet, we are able to ensure a healthy and economically viable fishery for years to come. 

To read more about the project and for project updates visit the project web page here.