||In October 2016, the Northeast Regional Planning Body (NEPRB) released the nation’s
first regional ocean plan. The NEPRB identified the Northeast Ocean Data Portal as
a resource that supports their goal of moving towards ecosystem-based regulatory decisions.
In an effort improve the fish data on the portal this study compares fish biomass
data collected between 2007-2014 from two scientific trawls. The Northeast Fisheries
Science Center conducts trawls in federal waters off of the Northeastern United States,
and the Northeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program uses similar trawl methodology
in the adjacent state waters. Seven species were selected due to their similar distribution
and abundance in each dataset. Then, the species were compared using geospatial and
statistical analysis. Although results varied between species, there is no indication
of high correlation between datasets. These results shine a light on potential ways
to improve trawl methodologies to make the surveys more comparable. Also, understanding
the differences between these datasets should urge the NEPRB to reconsider single-species
data maps for more user-friendly, habitat-based, maps on the portal.