EASTPORT — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is mapping the bottom of Maine’s Cobscook Bay as part of an effort to learn why so many mariners have been lost there in recent years.

Fishing communities in Maine and adjacent areas of Canada have lost more than a dozen men at sea in recent years.

The Bangor Daily News says that in Cobscook Bay there have been seven fishing-related deaths since December 2008.

The 32-foot NOAA mapping vessel Sea Ark had been scheduled to map the harbor at Newport, R.I. Instead, it’s spending the summer and fall in Maine.

Fishermen who drag the bay for urchins and scallops hope the maps being generated will locate uncharted obstructions so they can avoid snagging their gear and flipping their boats.

For background, go to Maine’s and New Brunswicks’ Deadliest Catch: Who’s Next?

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