Assessing the Occurrence of Bay Scallops (Argopectens irradians) within the Salt Ponds of Southern Rhode Island using Image-Based Sampling and Divers

Principal Investigator: Anna Gerber-Williams (RIDEM DMF)

Collaborators: Christopher Roman (URI GSO), Conor McManus (RIDEM DMF), Dennis Erkan (RIDEM DMF)

Funding Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife State Wildlife Grant

A collaborative research approach between the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Marine Fisheries will assess the local bay scallop population structure within Southern Rhode Island’s salt ponds. The primary goal of this project is to gather and analyze bay scallop population data to improve the sustainability of the recreational fishery. Dive and snorkel surveys and autonomous kayak image gathering will be used to characterize relative abundance, size/age structure, and associated habitat of bay scallops. The image data collected from the autonomous kayak survey will be ground-truthed with the dive and snorkel results to develop new methodologies for future bay scallop monitoring on a larger scale. Data produced from this project will be used to better inform management processes for the state of Rhode Island.