Protecting a threatened coastal fish species through regional collaboration

Mills, Kathy (2010) Protecting a threatened coastal fish species through regional collaboration. In: Shifting Shorelines: Adapting to the Future,The 22nd International Conference of The Coastal Society , June 13-16, 2010 ,Wilmington, North Carolina,

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Official URL: http://nsgl.gso.uri.edu/coastalsociety/TCS22/paper...

Abstract

Rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) are small anadromous fish that live in nearshore coastal waters during much of the year and migrate to tidal rivers to spawn during the spring. They are a key prey species in marine food webs, as they are consumed by larger organisms such as striped bass, bluefish, and seabirds. In addition, smelt are valued culturally and economically, as they support important recreational and commercial fisheries. The Atlantic Coast range of rainbow smelt has been contracting in recent decades. Historically, populations extended from the Delaware River to eastern Labrador and the Gulf of St. Lawrence (Buckley 1989). More recent observations indicate that rainbow smelt spawning populations have been extirpated south of Long Island Sound, and evidence of spawning activity is extremely limited between Long Island and Cape Cod, MA. In the Gulf of Maine region, spawning runs are still observed, but monitoring surveys as well as commercial and recreational catches indicate that these populations have also declined (e.g., Chase and Childs 2001). Many diverse factors could drive the recently noted declines in rainbow smelt populations, including spawning habitat conditions, fish health, marine environmental conditions, and fishing pressure. Few studies have assessed any of these potential threats or their joint implications. In 2004, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed rainbow smelt as a species of concern. Subsequently, the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts were awarded a grant through NMFS’s Proactive Conservation Program to gather new information on the status of rainbow smelt, identify factors that affect spawning populations, and develop a multi-state conservation program. This paper provides an overview of this collaborative project, highlighting key biological monitoring and threats assessment research that is being conducted throughout the Gulf of Maine. (PDF contains 4 pages)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Title: Protecting a threatened coastal fish species through regional collaboration
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Mills, Kathykatherine.mills@wildlife.nh.gov
Date: 2010
Funders: National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. EPA Coastal Management Branch, U.S. Geolgocial Survey, NOAA Sea Grant
Event Title: Shifting Shorelines: Adapting to the Future,The 22nd International Conference of The Coastal Society
Event Type: Conference
Event Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Event Dates: June 13-16, 2010
Issuing Agency: The Coastal Society
Uncontrolled Keywords: TCS22
Subjects: Conservation
Fisheries
Item ID: 3939
Depositing User: Cynthia Murray
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2010 13:24
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 16:42
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/3939

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