BOEM-DE Offshore Wind Energy Area Study

Project Title: Occurrence of commercially important and endangered fishes in Delaware Wind Energy Areas using acoustic telemetry
MATOS Project Code: DEWEA
Project Duration: February 2017 - March 2019
Project Description: The mid-Atlantic continental shelf has been identified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as the coastal region with the greatest offshore wind resource potential in waters less than 60 m deep and therefore is very well suited for near-term offshore wind energy technology. Federally endangered Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) and the commercially important Winter Skate (Leucoraja ocellata), are two species that occur in the Delaware Wind Energy Area (WEA), although there is little information on their patterns of residency and habitat. Acoustic receivers were deployed around the perimeter of the DE WEA in February 2017 to monitor the seasonal occupancy and movement of telemetered individuals. In April 2017, VEMCO acoustic transmitters were implanted in 50 Atlantic Sturgeon, and 50 Winter Skate in the Delaware coastal ocean. In addition, the receivers record the presence of species tagged with compatible transmitters identified through the ACT network.
Objectives:
  1. seasonal species occurrence
  2. transit times through study area
  3. determine environmental co-variates of species occurrence
  4. compare performance of moored vs. acoustic release receivers
Management Benefits:
  1. minimize interactions with these species for compliance with the National Environmental Policy
  2. and Endangered Species, and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Acts.
Investigators:
  1. Danielle Haulsee (University of Delaware) dhaulsee@udel.edu
  2. Dr. Danielle Haulsee (University of Delaware)
  3. Dr. Matthew Oliver (University of Delaware)
  4. Dr. Dewayne Fox (Delaware State University)
Participating Organizations:
  1. University of Delaware
  2. Delaware State University
  3. BOEM
Funding:
  1. BOEM