January 14, 2015, 2 pm to 3:30 pm
Attendees: Allie Rohrer, Anna Farrell, Jane Disney, Jim Norris, Chris Petersen, Jim Fisher, Bridie McGreavy (minutes)
Group members shared announcements about upcoming events, including the Frenchman Bay Partners Annual meeting, Sat. Jan. 31st from 9 am to noon.
Chris announced a scoping session for the aquaculture lease site that will be held on Jan. 20th.
Jim announced that he attended the recent DMR stakeholder meeting to discuss worm harvesting and that the Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee has invited local worm harvesters to attend their regular meeting in February to talk about reducing the need for state involvement and avoid a one size fits all approach to figuring out potential conflicts and how to design experiments to better understand the impact of different types of harvesting practices.
Green Crab Trapping
Chris is waiting on data from the students who worked with him this summer on green crab censuses.
Jane described the results from her summer green crab trapping efforts, noting that they did not find significant correlations between green crab abundance and eel grass abundance. They also did not find a significant relationship related to crab genotype and eel grass abundance. She announced that at the upcoming eel grass meeting on Thu. Jan. 22nd, they are likely to identify the need for increased green crab trapping efforts to better understand potential impacts of green crabs on eel grass. She noted that she used the traps purchased as part of this grant in her experiments.
Jim reflected on his participation in the green crab trapping efforts this summer and said that this coming summer he will need to find another way to dispose of crabs, as putting them in the garden is no longer an option. The group discussed several methods of killing and disposing, including putting the crabs in a big freezer and then composting them. Allie noted the possibility of using dry ice to freeze them. Jim asked if it would be possible to run them through a chipper.
-Chris will follow up with Hannah to ask about regulations related to killing crabs on the boat and dumping them overboard.
-Chris will also talk with the farm managers at COA about composting on their campus.
-Bridie will follow up with Abby Barrows about possible collaboration with her trapping efforts and her exploration of using compressed green crabs as lobster bait.
610 Project Updates
Allie Rohrer provided an update on the investigative report that she gave to the Frenchman Bay Regional Shellfish Committee in October. She noted changes in water quality in the Trenton closure, the need to follow up with DEP about testing shellfish tissue, and a site in Franklin (50-B A3.) that is now consistently meeting water quality standards. She also noted that Weir Cove is testing clean and that she needs to collect additional samples from this area. Finally Allie noted that the 610 Project has helped her understand the history of some of these sites and prioritize sampling efforts.
Please see the attached updated report from Allie.
Jim noted that the shellfish committee had talked about doing a depuration dig in the Trenton closure and that the group may pursue this given that the status of the Trenton closure may not change in the near future.
The group discussed the ongoing need to find a way to determine the source of fecal bacteria and the possible use of multi-source tracking and poop sniffing dogs.
The group also briefly discussed the opportunity to discuss the 610 Project as a model for partnerships between DMR, shellfish committees, Universities and colleges, and non-profit organizations at the Fisherman’s Forum on Thu. March 5th. Members expressed interest in participating in that session.
-Jane will ask Karen James about the possible use and cost for DNA sampling.
-Bridie will follow up about Fisherman’s Forum plans.
-Bridie will draft a letter to David Brooks at the DEP about the status for testing the shellfish tissue. She will share this letter with the advisory committee and request additional signatures. Bridie will also draft a letter on behalf of the shellfish committee and will follow up with Jim and Joe about getting signatures from committee members.
-Chris, Bridie, and Jane will follow up with Meggan and Allie about possibilities for collaboration around shoreline surveys and watershed monitoring.
In sum, the group has not finalized plans to spend the remaining funds but will be conducting the necessary research over the next month to prioritize spending the funds this spring and summer.