May 28, 2016

Habitat Area of Particular Concern in Penobscot Bay for juvenile cod.- background info.

Assorted facts and figures relevant to our  plan to use towed video and diver photos/video to  document habitat type and benthic species along specific shallow depth contours of portions of four Penobscot Bay towns:  Rockland Rockport,  North Haven and Vinalhaven (Hurricane Island).

Video Dive and Towed Camera Purposes:
- Document existing benthos of  HAPC Essential Fish Habitat
- Analyze how non-fishing activities affect EFH
- Identify ways to encourage conservation/enhancement of EFH of these areas
- List the major prey species for the species in the area and their locations
- Identify habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC)
- Recommend research efforts, preferably in priority order

Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard  June 2012 
Marine & Coastal Spatial Data Federal Geographic Data Committee

DMR's  enviro reviews  Maine DEP and Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands require DMR's Environmental Coordinator's to evaluate every coastal development application they review,  Link is to several years of development applications that would have an impact on Penobscot Bay's coastal environment, on the living marine resources of the bay, on the fishermen of the bay or on shoreline landowners.

How severe such impacts would be, and what ought to be done. The links below take you to 78 of Mr Swan's environmental reviews of development projects around Penobscot Bay in 2011 and 2012.


Inshore marine resource assessment


 Alternative 8 – Inshore Gulf of Maine Juvenile Cod HAPC

2013 Draft EIS EFH - Inshore juvenile Cod section 4pgs


Northwest Atlantic Marine Ecoregional Assessment

Land Cover and Wetlands of the Gulf of Maine Watershed 

Maine's Intertidal Habitats  A Planner's Handbook

Gulf of Maine habitat primer

Maine's Intertidal habitat 1985

Explanation of Maine Marine Geology

Definition of HAPCs

"So What? Habitat Areas of Particular Concern"

Regional  Fishery Council approaches  to HAPC identification

Opportunities and requirements for essential fish habitat and deep-sea coral protection

HAPC Cases

NMFS to Delaware

Penobscot Bay's, Maine's, shallow cod habitat getting new federal protection

Backstory:   HAPC IJAC
Habitat Area of Particular Concern for Inshore Juvenile  Atlantic Cod  (HIJAC) was first given approval in 1999 by the council.

 Ecology of young cod 

Age-O Cod   Movements and Diel Feeding

Shallow water depths (<5 m) and a strong attraction to features on most substratums, except sand, afford settled juveniles an environment conducive to growth and survival  The shallowness appears to ecologically segregate the 0-group cod from older age-groups at least during daylight;

 Age-0 cod maintain a strict diurnal foraging cycle, school (or shoal) feeding on zooplankton in a tide-related pattern during the day, and remain near protective bottom habitat which they readily seek when threatened. The mottled coloring of young juveniles effectively conceals them in a pebble-gravel environment

The diel change in vertical distribution and activity of 0-group cod coincides with a nocturnal shoreward movement and foraging by older (age-1-3) conspecifics.

Intercohort cannibalism is common. The occurrence of age-O cod in very shallow water (<1.2 m) at night has also been interpreted as possibly an evasive response to predation risk."

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