Vassar College Digital Library
The Gulf of Maine, located in the northwest Atlantic Ocean, is biologically, ecologically, and socio-economically important. Humans have interacted with this region by overfishing cod, implementing bounties on harbor and gray seals, instigating warming through human induced climate change, and altering seafloor habitats through trawling and urchin collection. These activities, among others, have altered the abundance and distribution of shallow water marine life in ways that are not fully understood. To address this knowledge gap, we used remote underwater videos to study the factors that may be impacting the species richness and abundance of marine life around Appledore Island, located in the Gulf of Maine. We found that the observed species richness varied with location around the island, time of day, wind speed, and depth. We also found that observations of mammals and seabirds were negatively correlated and observations of pollock and cunner, which were two of the most commonly observed species, were positively correlated. These findings have significant implications for fisheries management and conservation.
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