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NOAA Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship Lecture Series

12-1PM EST Thursday December 19, 2013 NOAA Central Library, 2nd Floor SSMC3

Changing vessel routes to open areas for offshore wind development could generate significant societal benefits

Katya Samoteskul, NOAA OAR Climate Program Office

As wind energy development becomes more prevalent, existing users of the oceans, such as commercial shippers, will be compelled to share their historically open-access waters with these projects. To assess tradeoffs between offshore wind development and commercial shipping, we demonstrate the utility of using cost-benefit analysis (CBA) framework. Specifically, we evaluate whether rerouting commercial vessel traffic farther from shore to open areas for wind development would produce societal benefits. We focus on less than 1,500 transits by deep-craft vessels between the ports in the US Mid-Atlantic. We propose to reroute the ships by an average of 18.5 km per trip. We estimate that over 29 years of the study, the net benefits of the proposed policy are approximately $14 billion (in 2012$). Considering the large societal benefits, changing vessel routes needs to be included in the portfolio of policies used to support the launch of the offshore wind industry.
 

Influence of predator identity on the strength of predator avoidance response in lobster

Erin Wilkinson, NOAA NMFS Office of Sustainable Fisheries, Domestic Fisheries Division

The American lobster, Homarus americanus, is an important benthic consumer in the Gulf of Maine and supports an extremely valuable fishery in New England. There is substantial interest in restoring large predatory fish species to the Gulf of Maine, and these predators may impact lobster populations through consumptive and behavioral effects that are likely to vary with size. Tethering experiments were used to examine the susceptibility of lobster size classes to predation in Saco Bay, Maine. The most susceptible sizes of lobster were then exposed to fish predators (Atlantic striped bass, Atlantic cod, and sea raven) separately in experimental mesocosm tanks. Juvenile lobster moved less and spent more time sheltered in the presence of cod or sea raven, but did not alter behavior in presence of striped bass. These predator-induced behavior changes can result in less foraging activity, which may translate into reduced growth and reproduction. Including these behavioral effects into population and ecosystem models will enhance our ability to understand and manage fisheries species.

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