Hydrographic Survey – Portland, Maine

Hydrographic survey operations on the Mistaken Ground on the Eastern Approach to Portland, ME – on or about August 26, 2020

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler will be conducting hydrographic survey operations on the Mistaken Ground on the Eastern Approach to Portland, ME, on or about August 26, 2020.  The survey will take approximately 24 days (24-hour operation).  The survey will be finished no later than October 31, 2020.  The hydrographic survey will update the nautical chart for the safety of navigation.

The Hassler will be transiting to and from the survey area to its homeport in New Castle, NH, via Portsmouth Harbor. Vessels transiting Portsmouth Harbor are not responsible for gear taken while transiting on range while within, on approach to, or departing from Portsmouth Harbor. 

A notice will be sent when survey operations are complete.  

A map showing the planned survey area is attached.  These planned survey operations are subject to change due to weather and logistical constraints. It is the intent of NOAA to coordinate with local regulatory authorities and the lobster license holders, so survey operations can be conducted with minimal interference to lobster fishing. 

A hydrographic survey of this type requires that Ferdinand R. Hassler use multibeam sonar systems and will acquire detailed data of the bottom, delineating and obtaining least depths of potential hazards to navigation. The survey operations do not use tow nets, trawl nets, or anything that touches the seafloor.  

It is understood that a high density of pots may be in the area during survey operations. The personnel of Ferdinand R. Hassler will exercise every caution while surveying to avoid entanglement of lobster pots.  If a lobster pot does become entangled, Ferdinand R. Hassler will immediately take action to stop the vessel and clear the pot lines from the sonar gear.  

Additional Information:   

  • We have been advised that lobster fishing gear DOES NOT need to be moved.
  • NOAA Ship Ferdinand R Hassler will be surveying with approximate line spacing of 400 to 500 meters, which can be modified on the fly to avoid gear and address sea state. 
  • The track lines will be determined based upon weather and site conditions.  
  • Survey Vessel – Ferdinand R. Hassler – More information is available on NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler. 

o   LOA:  122.87 feet

o   Draft:  12.63 feet

o   Breadth:  53.81 feet

The safety zone around the vessel is generally 1 nautical mile; however, with the complex nature of the survey area, it is recommended to contact the ship on VHF 16 or by phone if necessary. 

Mistaken Ground 2020 Survey Contacts:

The navigation manager is the primary contact for public relations, gear claims, coordinating gear information, and obtaining the hydrographic products from this survey.  The project manager is the primary contact for survey planning and collaboration efforts.  In the case of an emergent issue, the ship can be reached by cell at 603-812-8748.  The ship will be visible on AIS.