Lobster Traps and Drifters Monitoring Sea
by Sandra Dinsmore
The eMOLT (Environmental Monitors on Lobsters Traps) and the Drifters projects.
For 14 years now some 70 New England lobster fishermen have been volunteering their time and one or two of their traps to help marine science and a National Ocean Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) oceanographer, James Manning with his eMOLT project. “Well over a hundred lobstermen have recorded data over the years,” he said adding that more than half of those fishermen who have participated since the beginning have tended to stick with the project and that better than half active participants come from Maine.
Since starting the project in 2001, Manning has enlisted lobstermen from Grand Manan on down the New England coast and offshore as far west as Rhode Island to help him record and measure ocean bottom temperatures.
The fishermen help Manning by attaching a temperature probe the size of a large cigar to a trap. They then deploy the trap at a specific depth and location and keep it there for months so the temperatures the probe records will be consistent for that depth.