Description: This dataset broadly characterizes the density of commercial fishing vessel activity for the multispecies (groundfish) fishery in the northeastern U.S. based on Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) from fishing vessels from 2015 to 2016. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) describes VMS is a satellite surveillance system primarily used to monitor the location and movement of commercial fishing vessels in the U.S. This dataset does not distinguish between areas of fishing activity versus transit. Therefore, ports show up as high-density regions, despite little to no fishing activity at those locations. Raw VMS data from NMFS were processed into geospatial point products and analyzed to create density grids for select fisheries. The point data were filtered to remove vessel positions which did not meet the "Rule of Three" criteria required by NMFS due to data confidentiality. More information on the Rule of Three is available within the metadata. Data values are standardized and are best interpreted qualitatively. An absence of data does not indicate an absence of fishing activity.
Definition Expression: N/A
Copyright Text: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS), RPS