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Understanding and resolving conflicts between winter flounder and dredging Thomas M. Grothues Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding and resolving conflicts between winter flounder and dredging Thomas M. Grothues Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding and resolving conflicts between winter flounder and dredging Thomas M. Grothues Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University Eleanor A. Bochenek Haskins Shellfish Research Laboratory, Rutgers University Beth A. Phelan National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA

2 The conflict Winter flounder – a valuable resource Navigable waterways – a valuable resource Nexus occurs in estuarine waters

3 Winter Flounder Valuable Vulnerable –to overfishing –to habitat degradation Protected –catch limits –Essential Fish Habitat legislation

4 Essential Fish Habitat EFH- A legal term Congressional Amendment to the 1996 Magnuson Stevens Fishery Act …protect habitat necessary to continuation of the species

5 Winter flounder reproduction –Spawn in winter –Lay benthic egg clutches –Spawn in estuaries –Larvae (young) hatch and move into water column –Larvae settle

6 When does dredging conflict with EFH?

7 When does dredging conflict with EFH? When it is to occur in estuarine waters January through May

8 –Marinas are in estuaries –Boat traffic and slip use decreases in winter –NJ estuaries are typically depositional environments

9 Refining EFH for winter flounder At the inter-estuary (coast-wide) scale –Includes historical ranges At the within-estuary scale –Estuaries are dynamic environments –May include areas or times of unfavorable conditions to winter flounder spawning that can be used for dredging We can let the fish tell us their story

10 Telemetry study Tag fish with acoustic transmitters Follow them synoptically and automatically 24/7 in the study area Identify habitat use patterns Identify spawning locations from specific behaviors Map to environmental factors in the estuary

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13 N.J. C.T. N.Y. Study Area Sandy Hook Bay Atlantic Ocean Navesink River 0 3 km Study Area

14 Sandy Hook Bay Year One Broad Scale Habitat Use Hydrophone

15 Sandy Hook Bay Year Two Sub-meter Scale Habitat Use Hydrophone

16 Summary Winter flounder eggs are vulnerable to dredges EFH legislation protects them EFH designation may be unnecessarily broad Study could revise EFH designation Study could confirm EFH designation


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