Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
30 Jul 1997
- Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
- 42.35 -70.5
Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo; Sennheiser MKH40 Cardioid Mid Mic and MKH30 Bidirectional Side Mic through Sonosax Preamp into Sony TCD3
NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
STELLWAGEN BANK NMS
Intv with Brad Barr (BB)
0:31 ct "9:27 am ... role for continuous ambi ... walking ahead to collect ambi"
0:54 water, ct "sweeping around the forward deck ... going clockwise" bg water, boat motor
3:15 bb "my name is bb I'm the manager of the stell. nms"
3:36 tb "we're about a half hour from where we're going to launch the ROV ... tell me why the idea of this part marine sanc is important"
3:44 bb "well part of the reason why the nms program exists is to provide protection for areas of the marine environ around the country that are of special national significance-that's out of the statute and that can be pretty broadly defined but I think that it's like you know it when you see it or you know it when you experience it. Stellwagen is one of those places where you know that when you're inside of the sanctuary when you're on top of the bank. When you're out here on the water there's something about it that makes it special-there's lots of reasons why that is, the fact that its an off-shore bank and its very highly productive, it has a rich biodiversity here there's all sorts of reasons why that is but there's also that sense of it being a special place here and uh that's really what the sanctuary is meant to protect are these areas where there is that sense of specialness or uniqueness"
4:43 tb "my understanding is that each sanctuary has its own special set of characteristics, but what is particular about stell. bank, there's a couple of things that make it reasonably special. The fact that it is one of the big congregation areas, feeding areas for a large number of whale species urn, because its an off-shore bank and because there's an upwelling of cold nutrient rich waters from the bottom of the ocean into the area that the sun illuminates you have a lot of primary production going on its converting all that sunlight into things 'that , .. animals can eat ultimately up the food chain into places providing feed for a lot of these whales. And because there's so many whales here the water. .. "
5:54 bb "its also imp because this has been a long standing fishing area where
fisherman from the surrounding states have utilized stellwag en bank as primary fishing grounds for some of the more important comm fisheries ... this is also big area for blue fin tuna, stell. been #1 area ... "
7:06 tb "when we talk about sanctuary ...you think of preserve or an idea that its sort of roped off and kept pristine and that outside activities aren't allowed to occur but really something else is going on here I mean you're talking about the best way to
sustain multiple uses out here-talk about some of the conflict probs you're most worried about."
7:32 bb "There's a concept right now in the management of protected areas called working landscapes-and that means for some sort of protected area on land ... that there is a coexistence between the notion of protection and the notion of allowing sustainable use of that area ...that's very much like the kind of concept we have here this is not a sanctuary that's devoted to keeping people out in fact what we're all about is encouraging ... facilitating uses of the sanc so long as they are sustainable ..."
8:30 bb "On one hand you have a bunch of resources that need to be protected in a relatively fragile environment but you also have a lot of uses out here that we would like to see to continue and in fact it all ties back into our research program where we all have a number of activities going on that both work to preserve the resource but preserve the resource so that we can continue to have it here so that people can use it like in the whale watching industry ...we have this principle that you can't manage what you don't understand ..."
9:25 tb "In terms of the trawling that happens out here .. .1 was talking to lw and he is concerned about what it is doing to the floor of the ocean. Do we need to understand more before we can say definitively that that kind of bottom trawling is harming these kinds of places..."
10:05 bb "well I think ... we, we could act right now we probably have enough information from a scientific point of view to begin to start to limit the areas that the vessels are operating in but the question is well that's the view of the scientist but the view of the manager is well how do you shut down an entire industry wlo reeking havoc on these people who depend on these areas for our livelihood. The balance comes into play when you get into the management arena and I think what we're trying to do is learn a little more about it so we don't have to go in with a large hunting knife and make those cuts but make them with a scalpel and the research helps us to be more precise in what our measures are so we can have the least impact on the uses of the area that are so important to the people in the surrounding regions I mean these activities like the whale watching and fishing are the lifeblood of many of these coastal communities. We can't simply rely on what we know right now because based on what we know right now we'd have to close large areas because we don't know the extent to the effect is we don't know how
habitat specific it is what we're trying to say is let's learn a little bit more before we act and I think we're on the verge of that.. ."
12:08 bb "while we should be acting its always best to act with the most info possible ... "
12:22 bb "and presumably with that information you're equipped to make the case to the people who are going to be most effective no management measure works part when its out here in the middle of the ocean no management unless there's a degree of self compliance ... any management measure that's going to be effective has to have the support of the people that are being affected by it."
13:08 tb "This is a particular challenge because what you are managing isn't visible...we are rich now in what looks like the middle of the ocean there's no land around us what is underneath us that needs to be understood."
13:24 bb "Well you know what we have is a really complex three-dimensional environment underneath us and you know when we look out some of my talks I have uh pictures where they say a lot of the nms and I like to show pictures that show the ocean in four directions because that's really what you see out here ... but what's really happening is happening below the surface in the water column where there's pelagic resources like the blue fin tuna and the whales are exploiting the complexity of the water column. It's not homogeneous the whole way down to the bottom in fact there are layers of water in there and those layers support diff things that are going on in terms of the biota ..."
14:19 "There's a diff. In the area "picaclime?" ...@15:00 its all relying on the corp.plexity of the bottom"
15:34 "its so critical to have that structure there in place-"
@16:40 tb "Describe what happens when those nets are dragged across the ocean floor"
16:44 bb "these nets are held out by something called doors which are big flat objects that pull the net open and on the bottom of that are what's called a foot rope which drags along the bottom and it disturbs the bottom so that it brings all the fish that are on the bottom up into the water column. The foot rope comes by it pushes them up and the net grabs them as it comes by, well as the foot rope is being dragged and as the doors are being dragged through the bottom. It disturbs the bottom it takes off all the structure ... all the biogenic structure or the animals that live on the bottom it uh takes all that away. Essentially it picks it up puts it in the net comes out on the deck they empty out the net and then they kick all that stuff overboard most of it relies on being fixed and so it dies."
17:44 tb "I've heard the analogy that this is similar to clear cutting on dry land"
17:48 bb "In some ways it is and in some ways there are some benefits to that from certain fish points of views because you really have a number offish that really like to have an environment that is disturbed because it creates colonized by small worms and those small worms are eaten by flatfish production and in fact some places in the north sea you know they've created essentially mono-cultures of flatfish because the areas have been dragged but when you have an area like
stellwagen that's so biologically rich such high bio-diversity and such importance to the regional economy for a number of different things we're trying to protect the diversity and not tum it into a mono culture and in fact some of the research that's been conducted has been sugg that we may in fact be seeing some of those kinds of changes out here as a result of the heavy fishing pressure ..."
18:50 tb "there are people as you sugg make a living doing this and 1 think if they were here hearing the way you're describing some of this and 1 want to allude ...there are people that make a living doing this and 1 imagine that if they were hearing some of the concerns that you were expressing here you go you're trying to shut us down and basically force us to give up a way of life that obviously is not the intention"
19:25 bb "no, it really isn't and its one of the things that we try really hard to try and get people to understand that our goal here is not to to force people out of work because we respect that and its part of our mandate to maintain that what we're trying to do is is we're trying to better understand this relationship between the amount of dragging and the intensity of dragging that's being done so it can be better managed because we know any scientist you talk to any of the scientists on board . 1 mean any scientist ...they will prob all tell you that there are vast amounts of the ocean that can be dragged so that it can be better managed but there are also known to be pawning and nursing grounds where dragging might be necessary to limit the amount of dragging that goes on here or have it be directed into very specific areas and I think our goal here is not to put an industry out of business its to make an industry sustained because we will have the resources necessary we will be able to manage it effectively because we know enough about it to not simply react and say well all"
20:47 tb "how do you feel about that (25th anniversary)...what has to happen to these sanc in your view?"
21:04 bb "I think we're an evolving program, we're an evolving program, we've been around for 25 yrs and we've learned a tremendous amount about managing special areas of the marine environment and 1 think we can now begin to bring that experience and that learning to ply it to beginning to do it a little more effectively ... one of the things that we're saying is-"what's our role here within the region not just what's our role here in stell bank-the gulf of maine's a big place what we're doing is we're working with ... so that we're not just an isolated area of protection but that we're a part of. .. something on an appropriate regional scale, so I think that's what we're going to see more and more more rec of the need for interacting, not just protecting a box but being part of a larger protecting scheme"
22:37 tb" I'm wondering too if there needs to be more public awareness for these areas...national consciousness (not the same for marine as with terrestrial equivalents)"
23:05 bb "well you know there was an old new yorker cartoon that just about ev benthic ecologist has on his wall and it shows a bunch of ladies sitting around ...having tea and one lady looks at another and says "I don't know why I don't care about the bottom of the ocean but I don't...and it kind of rep the kind of struggle we have trying to get people to understand ... "
24:26 silence, ct "9:51 in morning ...end of interview
getting ready for launch sequence.
Talking about launch sequence: "they put it in the water the thing is more or less buoyant and uh floats at surface while tether is fed ..."
26:33 ct "how will this sled be launched?"
26:38 "we use this wire right here and we hook into that lifting bridal and there'll a lot of hydraulic noise ... "
talking about best place to get sound, laughing.
27:54 ct "I'm slightly aft of the control cabin, starboard side open side for launch, crane directly in from of me, crow's nest above, we'll go up and gather sound"
28:55 bg talking ... about collecting sound and joking etc ...
31:43 pa "My name's Peter Auster, I'm science director for national undersea research center which is based in the univ of CT, ...we're out here on the "able jay" as part of a research project I have with page valentine looking at use of sea floor habitats...voice gets more faint"
32:26 pa "we're going to re-survey an area we looked at back in '86"
34:42 talk about hard hats
35:06 ct "heading for the bridge, ms, sounds quickly fade, door slam, steps ... "
talking about positioning of ROV, while looking at computer screen voice over radio in bg.
36:07 Bob Wallace Intv
38:10 "Able Jay was named after a dutch explorer in the 18th century ... famous for having been the man who rec the island of tasmania as separate from australia"
voice over radio (interesting) tony talking to captain? of boat
40:10 tb "how close will we get to the initial position?" tb "pretty good day for this kind of work?"
41:43 tb "describe what you need to do once that ROV goes into the water"
41:48 "once get rov in water, rov is free to move around on its own and our job is to stay within a certain radius to keep the rov from pulling itself around with its own tether."
44:15 radio voices radio voices end at at 45:28
46:00 humming in bg, equipment being moved (thud, thud)
46:28 water, low motor in bg
47:00 clanging for a couple of seconds, bg talking, water,
48:25 moving something around, voice over radio
49:00 meatloaf song
49:30 ct humming, motor transition and "continue to role, will transition" change dat before "10:55 in morning."