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NOAA kicks off 2015 survey season in Gulf of Maine

The two blue regions are the survey project areas for 2015. NOAA completed surveys of the green areas in 2014. The yellow region is data collected by the Maine Coastal Program. NOAA will try to use the Maine data for updating NOAA nautical charts, so Hassler will "junction" with their work.
The Gulf of Maine is the first area to be surveyed by NOAA ships in 2015, with a hydrographic project scheduled for about 142 square nautical miles in January and February. NOAA ship Ferdinand R. Hassler will conduct the survey from January 5 to February 13, subject to weather and operational conditions, to acquire data for nautical chart updates.

Hassler will survey areas from Fletcher Neck to Moody Beach, and from Taylor Reef to Woody Island, which are heavily trafficked by commercial fishermen and are priority areas for NOAA chart updates.

After Hassler acquires the soundings and other observations with her multibeam echo sounder and side scan sonar, the data goes to NOAA's Office of Coast Survey hydrographic processing team in Norfolk, and then to cartographers who will update charts by this summer.

The paper and raster nautical charts that will reflect changes in water depths, aids to navigation, or dangers to navigation are 13286, 13287, 13288, 13290, and 13292. The corresponding electronic navigational charts (NOAA ENC®) are US5ME01M, US5ME02M, US5ME10M, US5ME12M, US4ME01M, and US4ME03M.

Information about the survey project has been included in the 1st District Local Notice to Mariners since November. To reduce the chance of entangling any fishing gear during survey operations, Coast Survey, which manages NOAA's hydrographic survey operations and maintains the nation's charts, has also notified the Maine Lobstermen's Association about the location and timing of planned activities. The ship will exercise every caution while surveying to avoid entanglement of fishing gear.

Jan 5, 2015

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