EarthWorks Geospatial Catalog

Concentrated Commercial Fishing Traffic, as indicated by Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data are collected by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to track fishing vessel activity for law enforcement (closed areas), safety, and scientific study. This dataset documents the density of fishing vessels from September 1, 2007 to September 1, 2008 using the VMS records available for that period. CZM digitized polygons from this dataset to represent areas where greater than 25 vessels were recorded in a 250 x 250-meter grid cell over the duration of the year. The raw data were provided courtesy of NMFS Northeast Regional Office. Applied Science Associates (ASA) analyzed the raw data to create a raster grid. CZM digitized this dataset from the raster produced by ASA. To allow for consistent evaluation and comparison of a variety of datasets with distinct spatial resolutions, accuracies, and other characteristics, the Massachusetts ocean management planning area was partitioned into 250 x 250-meter grid cells, each with a unique ID. These data were converted to the planning area grid by extracting all of the cells in which the data layer occurred. The data were then dissolved into one feature.
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