Frenchman Bay Research
In 2016, the Schoodic Ferry will be conducting twice daily visual marine mammal transects with photo-identification of individuals when possible. A dedicated researcher will count all marine mammals encountered during each transect, utilizing GPS to mark marine mammal locations. When possible, the researcher will also take photos, notes on animal behavior, and note the animal’s approximate age and size. Species likely to be encountered include harbor seals, grey seals, harbor porpoise, and minke whales. This data is expected to be made available on our website by December 15, 2016.
Along with marine mammal research, the Schoodic Ferry will also be conducting once weekly water quality data collection at 10 locations along its route. Data collection will include water clarity, temperature and salinity over depth, and chlorophyll-a data. This data is useful for baseline monitoring of changing marine conditions, including variations in temperature, salinity, and plankton productivity over time. This data is also expected to be made available on our website by December 15, 2016.
Finally, the Schoodic Ferry will be conducting twice weekly surface plankton net tows at 3 different locations within Frenchman Bay utilizing nets of varying mesh size. When combined with our water quality data, this data will help scientists assess if lobster, crab and urchin larvae molt timings are shifting as sea surface temperatures shift.