Of Sturgeon and Ships

The U.S. Coast Guard maintains an archive of historical vessel position movements, collected through the Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS). Originally designed to improve maritime safety and security, these historical vessel position records have proven to be a valuable resource for a variety of engineers and researchers studying the aquatic world. For example, fishery resource managers with the responsibility of improving multiple sturgeon populations have used historical data from the NAIS to evaluate where fish and vessels might interact. Before sturgeon populations crashed in the late 1800s, harvests along the Atlantic coast were measured in thousands of tons. If sturgeon populations rebound to their historical levels it could mean the renaissance of a commercial and recreational fishery that has been lost for generations. Understanding where sturgeon might be at risk from vessel strikes or propeller cuts is just one small part of a larger conservation and recovery effort around the country. The public can request historical vessel position data through the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN) online portal. To learn more about sturgeon and efforts to rebuild fish stocks visit the NOAA Fisheries website.

Vessel track lines, James River, VA Vessel tracks through the James River, Virginia. Processed using the AISAP tool developed by USACE-ERDC.


U.S. Coast Guard NAIS and Data Requests: https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/
E. J. Hilton, B. Kynard, M. T. Balazik, A. Z. Horodysky, and C. B. Dillman. 2016. Review of the biology, fisheries, and conservation status of the Atlantic Sturgeon, (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus Mitchill, 1815). Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 32: 30-66.

NOAA Fisheries, Species Directory, Atlantic Sturgeon: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/atlantic-sturgeon

Data.Gov Links related to this topic:

Green Sturgeon Acoustic Monitoring: https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/green-sturgeon-acoustic-monitoring

White Sturgeon Distribution, Pacific Northwest: https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/white-sturgeon-distribution-pacific-northwest-updated-march-2006

USGS National Hydrography Dataset: https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/usgs-national-hydrography-dataset-nhd-downloadable-data-collection-national-geospatial-data-as

Federal R&D Facilities for Entrepreneurs and Innovators

As part of the Administration’s Lab-to-Market initiative, agencies are publishing machine-readable data on over 700 Federal R&D facilities that may be utilized by entrepreneurs and innovators to research, prototype, and test new technologies. These facilities, operated by NASA, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Institute of Health (NIH), include cutting-edge research tools and together represent billions of dollars of taxpayer investment.

Each facility has its own set of use policies, so a contact person is included in the data wherever possible. For example, some entrepreneurs may be able to access NASA’s National Center for Advanced Manufacturing to produce the high-strength, defect-free joints required for cutting-edge aeronautics, or DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for collaborative projects in additive manufacturing, composites and carbon fiber, and other leading clean energy technologies. Learn more…

Food Price Outlook

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food is a component of the all-items CPI. The CPI measures the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative market basket of consumer goods and services. While the all-items CPI measures the price changes for all consumer goods and services, including food, the CPI for food measures the changes in the retail prices of food items only.