F/V Tenacious II and F/V Mary Elizabeth returned to port on May 2 and May 3, respectively, from their second trips of the Cooperative Research Branch’s spring bottom longline survey in the Gulf of Maine. The vessels have been staffed by Dave McElroy, Giovanni Gianesin, Dominique St. Amand, Elizabeth Marchetti, and Calvin Alexander for the first two trips.
Collectively, both vessels have sampled 19 stations, with 11 of the stations located in
the Western Gulf of Maine and the other 8 stations in the Eastern Gulf of Maine.
Eighteen of the sampled stations have been rough bottom (rocky bottomed) and
the other smooth bottom (sand/mud bottom).
Live fish were retained by both vessels from their first trips for the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s Woods Hole Science Aquarium. Atlantic cod, cusk, haddock, pollock, wrymouth, longhorn sculpin and thorny skate were collected and handed over to Alison Brodet from the aquarium.
The catch in the Western Gulf of Maine consisted of haddock, cusk, Atlantic wolffish, Atlantic halibut, red hake, thorny skates and spiny dogfish. Eastern Gulf of Maine stations produced catches of Atlantic halibut, haddock, Blackbelly rosefish, cusk, pollock, Atlantic cod, white hake and spiny dogfish. A 200 lb. Porbeagle shark was also caught, tagged and released at one the eastern stations. What could possibly be the largest cusk ever encountered in the history of the longline survey was caught on F/V Mary Elizabeth. It measured 99 cm (about 39 inches) long!
The teams are headed back out at sea for the weekend. Stay tuned to see what they catch next!
Northeast Cooperative Research Program