In 2015–2016, the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST), and Eastman’s Fishing Fleet conducted research to estimate the discard mortality rate of cusk released by anglers in the Gulf of Maine recreational groundfish fishery. In other words, they are determining whether fish survive after being caught and released by recreational fishermen. The team also tested the efficacy of descending devices to reduce mortality of cusk suffering barotraumas, or injuries caused by a change in pressure as you reel a fish from the sea floor to the surface.

This short video created by Steve DeNeef takes you onto the fishing boat with the scientists and provides a fascinating look at this research.

Partnering Institutions

New England Aquarium: Dr. John Mandelman, Emily Jones, Connor Capizzano
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries: Bill Hoffman, Matt Ayer, Micah Dean
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: Dr. Douglas Zemeckis, Dr. Steven Cadrin, Crista Bank
Eastman’s Fishing Fleet: Capt. Nate Ribblett, Capt. Les Eastman

Also in partnership with Yankee Fleet (Gloucester, MA), Capt. Tim Tower (F/V Bunny Clark), and Capt. Marc Stettner (F/V Too Far).

Funding provided by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Saltonstall-Kennedy grant program.

Video: Steve deNeef