The Northeast Ocean Data website provides a set of easy-to-use interactive maps of selected ocean activities and marine life. Currently available are maps on maritime commerce, recreation, aquaculture, fish and shellfish, marine mammals and sea turtles, and other marine life. We are developing maps for energy, commercial fishing, and more kinds of marine life.
We intend for these maps to be revised and improved over time. We are working with many organizations to identify data needs, obtain new data sets, enhance our existing data sets, and determine the best ways to map ocean uses and marine life. We welcome your comments, corrections, and suggestions.
These maps show navigation and marine operation areas, some potential hazards on the seabed, and vessel traffic patterns. We are working with BOEM, NOAA, the US Coast Guard, and the industry to improve these data sources, including identifying additional marine operation areas and better representing different types of vessel traffic and commerce.
This map shows data on recreational boating and boating-related activities based on the 2012 Northeast Recreational Boater Survey
. We developed maps from the survey in partnership with the boating industry, and we are gathering information on other recreational activities and events based on permits managed by the US Coast Guard.
Growing and harvesting shellfish, fish, and seaweed for commercial purposes is a key ocean use in the Northeast. These maps present a range of information related to aquaculture, including aquaculture sites, shellfish management areas, and selected environmental characteristics.
Fish & Shellfish
Spatial and temporal data on fish abundance and shellfish habitat are critical for ocean planning. As an example, these maps provide data on abundance of Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, and sand lance; the number of fish species and total fish biomass during semi-annual research surveys; and locations of shellfish habitats. A more comprehensive set of maps is in development.
Marine Mammals & Sea Turtles
In collaboration with scientists and conservationists, we are identifying the most appropriate data about marine mammals and sea turtles to assist ocean planning. As a demonstration, these maps indicate seasonal sightings per unit effort (SPUE) for selected ecologically important marine mammals and sea turtles. We plan to release additional maps in 2014.
Other Marine Life
Plankton and other types of marine life are important members of the ocean ecosystem. As an initial step to provide information for ocean planning, these maps depict abundance of zooplankton, chlorophyll a
, and primary production.
Commercial Fishing (Available Soon)Commercial fishing is an important industry in New England with almost no part of the ocean that is not commercially fished. We are currently engaging the fishing industry to document commercial fishing activity using existing data sources that were developed for reporting and enforcement purposes. Resulting maps developed with fishing industry input will be posted here along with other select data.
Energy (Available Soon)There has been increased interest in using the ocean for energy generation and distribution. These maps will show wind and tidal energy potential from select sources, energy planning and project areas, and energy-related infrastructure.
More Marine Life (In Development)Ocean waters in the northeastern U.S. host a diversity of fish, shellfish, marine mammals, sea turtles, birds, and other marine life. We are working with scientists and conservationists to map key elements of the region’s marine life. Maps of fish, shellfish habitat, marine mammals, and sea turtles (see above) are preliminary examples. We intend to post more marine life maps in 2014.