An environmental partnership:
Confronting climate change, fishermen collect data on changing oceans
New England’s fishermen are feeling the effects of climate change in fundamental ways, as fish populations respond to changes in the ocean environment. For scientists trying to understand this dynamic system, one big challenge is getting enough data. To address that problem, a number of scientific projects are building on an unlikely collaboration, enlisting data collection from the men and women who are out on the water most.
Jim Violet has been fishing for 37 years. On a typical trip, he leaves from Newport, Rhode Island for the long ride to the Outer Continental Shelf. At the end of an 18-hour fishing day, he takes one extra step – for science.
He and his crew drop a small white cylinder off the deck of the boat to the ocean floor – 200-300 feet deep – and haul it back up with a winch. It weighs about 30 lbs, and it’s designed to measure the temperature and the salinity of seawater, up and down the water column.