CFRF - WHOI Shelf Research Fleet
Profiles Collected to date
(as of January 5, 2019)
The CFRF, in partnership with scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), operates a fishing vessel research fleet to conduct bi-weekly oceanographic sampling across the continental shelf and slope south of Rhode Island. The purpose of the project is to study changes in oceanographic conditions, particularly temperature, in order to better understand how these changes may impact the distribution and abundance of key fisheries resources.
The project aims to: 1) Measure the seasonal transitions and stratification patterns over two years to examine the development and breakdown of the seasonal thermocline, and 2) Assess the frequency, timing, and extent of onshore penetration of warm, saline intrusions of slope and Gulf Stream waters onto the continental shelf. The long-term goal is to understand how changes in large scale forcing, including Jet Stream position, affects seasonal stratification and transitions, annual temperature and salinity extremes, and cross-shelf exchange processes during a period of rapid change.
Glen Gawarkiewicz, WHOI
Frank Bahr, WHOI
Anna Malek Mercer, CFRF
Aubrey Ellertson, CFRF
F/V Brooke C - Point Judith, RI
F/V Cailyn Grace- Sakonnet Point, RI
F/V Captain Robert- Point Judith, RI
F/V Erica Knight - Point Judith, RI
F/V Excalibur - Newport, RI
F/V Harvest Moon- Point Judith, RI
F/V Mister G - Point Judith, RI
F/V Virginia Marise - Point Judith, RI
Data Collection Strategy:
Fishermen participating in the Shelf Research Fleet deploy a CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth instrument) over the side of their vessels on a bi-weekly basis to collect vertical profiles of temperature and salinity from designated zones within the study area. The data obtained is available for viewing onboard the fishing vessel using iPad tablets. Fishermen have the option of entering notes regarding general observations, such as: tides, weather conditions, bottom type, and targeted species in the fishing area to submit as supplementary information to the scientists receiving the CTD data. Participating fishermen will have a chance to participate in workshops with WHOI scientists to share their on-the-water observations about fish movements in the study area, discuss the data collected, and help interpret the results.
July 2014 - May 2017 – Phase I of the Shelf Research Fleet, focused on training fishermen how to collect oceanographic data, testing equipment and sampling protocols and, establishing a data management system and online data portal (supported by The MacArthur Foundation).
June 2017 – May 2019 – Phase II of the Shelf Research Fleet, focused on bi-weekly collection of oceanographic data by fishermen, analysis of data in the context of changing ocean conditions, publication of peer-reviewed manuscripts, and communication of project approach and results to coastal communities (Supported by The van Beuren Charitable Foundation).
Project Data & presentations:
2018 Unusual Conditions in Southern New England: Insights from the Pioneer Array and Shelf Research Fleet (4/18/18) - Dr. Glen Gawarkiewicz (WHOI), Dr. Al Plueddemann (WHOI), and Anna Mercer (CFRF)
2017 Oceanographic Conditions and Related Topics (11/2/17) - Glen Gawarkiewicz, WHOI and Anna Mercer, CFRF
CFRF Shelf Fleet: Preliminary Results for 2015 (2/4/16) - Glen Gawarkiewicz, WHOI and Anna Malek, CFRF
Some Thoughts on Recent Changes South of New England (4/7/15) - Glen Gawarkiewicz, WHOI
Real-time oceanographic glider data - WHOI Underwater Glider Operations
Pioneer Array Data Access Demo - WHOI Pioneer Array
"The Changing Nature of Shelf-Break Exchange Revealed by the OOI Pioneer Array" by Gawarkiewicz, G., R.E. Todd, W. Zhang, J. Partida, A. Gangopadhyay, M.-U.-H. Monim, P. Fratantoni, A. Malek Mercer, and M. Dent - 2018 Oceanography 31(1):60–70, https://doi.org/ 10.5670/oceanog.2018.110.
“Partnering with Fishing Fleets to Monitor Ocean Conditions” by Gawarkiewicz, G. and A. Malek Mercer- Annual Review of Marine Science, Vol 11, Jan 2019. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-marine-010318-095201
“Confronting Climate Change, Fishermen Collect Data on Changing Oceans.”- WCAI NPR Cape and the Islands, November 2018
"Concerned Citizens and Fishermen Help Scientists Track Ocean Changes In Effort To Fight Climate Change." - Boston NPR (WBUR), August 2017
“Scientist-Fisherman Partnership: Collaboration Spurs Mutual Benefits for Research And Industry." - Oceanus Magazine WHOI Press Room, March 2017
"The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation: Engaging Fishermen in Research Since 2004" - National Shellfisheries Association Quarterly Newsletter 2017 (4), page 8
"WHOI Scientists Partner with Rhode Island Fishermen" - Marine Technology White Papers, February 2017
"Fishermen, Scientists Collaborate to Collect Climate Data" - WHOI Press Room, May 2016
"Project will develop science-based climate change adaptation solutions for coastal communities" - WHOI Press Room, September 2014