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O’Keefe receives Young Alumni Award
11.10.14 Dr._Cate_O’Keefe
SMAST Research Associate Dr. Catherine ‘Cate’ O’Keefe was awarded the UMass Dartmouth Young Alumni Award last Thursday at a ceremony at the Carney Library.

Cate’s most noted accomplishment, based on her dissertation research, offers a solution to a major problem in fisheries: “bycatch.”

New Bedford’s $600 million scallop fishery inadvertently catches flounders, but the flounder stocks have been overfished and are strictly regulated. So, when the scallop fleet reaches the limit of flounder bycatch, the scallop season officially ends. And in fact, from 2006 to 2009, the scallop fishery was closed early because it approached the flounder bycatch limit, costing the fleet approximately $60 million.

In the words of SMAST Prof. Steve Cadrin, who introduced Cate at the ceremony, “Cate worked closely with scallop fishermen to develop an information sharing system which [enables] fishermen to avoid bycatch hotspots.”

“The program was implemented in 2010, and the scallop fleet was allowed to stay open the entire year to catch their entire scallop allocation, while only catching one third of their bycatch limit,” Cadrin reported. “So it was a conservation success as well as an economic success.”

Cate is now working locally and abroad to share her research with other fisheries to solve their bycatch problems.

NOAA economist to be SMAST Visiting Scholar
10.20.14 John_Walden
John Walden, an economist with NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) in Woods Hole, has been appointed to the Social Sciences Visiting Scholar position at SMAST. He is replacing Min-Yang Lee, who has returned full-time to his duties in Woods Hole. John has been on staff with the NEFSC since 1987.

For the past 15 years, John’s research has focused on measuring technical efficiency, capacity and productivity in commercial fisheries. During that time he has built an internationally recognized research program in this area. He has developed research collaborations with faculty at a number of universities, as well as with the USDA Economic Research Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.

This summer, John organized fishery sessions at both the North American Productivity Workshop, and the Asia-Pacific Productivity Conference. Additionally, he led the national effort by NMFS to measure capacity in commercial fisheries in response to a request from Congress, and more recently developed productivity metrics which were applied to U.S. catch share fisheries.

John will be co-teaching a class with Prof. Dan Georgianna in the spring semester. He also plans to develop a fully on-line course, offered through SMAST, to be centered on fisheries economics for policy decisions.

[Reposted from October 17, 2014]

Awards to support gear design/eddy research
10.07.14 Drs._He_and_Tandon
SMAST Professor Pingguo He [above in photo] has received a $205K award from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service for “Avoiding Overfished Flounders: Testing of Low Seabed Impact of Semi-Pelagic Trawling Technology for Groundfish on the Georges Bank." The project will design and test trawling gear innovations to reduce seabed impact for the New England groundfish fishery, while significantly reducing the catch of the so-called “choke” species of flounder: yellowtail, winter and windowpane. Similar technology is successfully used in the North Pacific for Alaskan pollock and in Norway for Atlantic cod. The project is a collaborative initiative involving university and state scientists and contributors from the gear technology and fishing industries.

In a separate award, UMass Dartmouth Professor Amit Tandon [below in photo] (Mech. Eng./SMAST) has received $324K from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his part in collaborative research on the "Role of Mixed Layer Eddies on Phytoplankton Productivity in Seasonally Variable Regimes." The total award is for $1.1 million over four years, with the remainder supporting the research of collaborator Dr. Amala Mahadevan of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The investigators will contribute to outreach efforts, including teacher training and ocean literacy workshops through the Ocean Academy at the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford.

[Reposted from October 6, 2014]

Rothschild to address Hjort Symposium
10.07.14 brian_rothschild
SMAST Prof. Emeritus Brian Rothschild has been invited to deliver the summary address at the Johan Hjort Symposium on Recruitment Dynamics and Stock Variability next week in Bergen, Norway.

Hjort is widely considered to be the father of fisheries science. The occasion for the symposium is the 100th anniversary of the publication of Hjort’s seminal book, Fluctuations in the Great Fisheries of Northern Europe.

According to the symposium organizers, “The importance of [Hjort’s] volume cannot be overstated, particularly Hjort’s new conceptual ideas about the formation of strong year classes based on age determination from fish scales.”

Dr. Rothschild is Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the School for Marine Science and Technology. He has edited five books and is the author of 100+ research papers.

Dr. Rothschild has worked in several capacities for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and has consulted for the United Nations and several national governments on various aspects of oceanography and fishery management. He has served on numerous national and international committees and working groups, and has led international scientific programs.

Dr. Rothschild is currently President and CEO of the Center for Sustainable Fisheries (CSF), a science-based, non-profit organization “devoted to the conservation of our fisheries resources and the economic development of our fishing communities.”

[Reposted from October 3, 2014]

Eddy wins "Best Student Paper" at AFS
09.02.14 Corey_Eddy
PhD student Corey Eddy (Biol./SMAST) won the “Best Student Paper Presentation” award at the American Fisheries Society annual meeting last month in Quebec City for “Capture-Related Mortality and Post-Release Survival of Pelagic Sharks Interacting with Tuna Purse Seines in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.” Corey’s advisor, Prof. Diego Bernal, was co-author of the paper.

At the same meeting, UMass Dartmouth scientists and students authored or co-authored some three dozen oral and poster presentations. In addition, SMAST scientists organized and/or moderated technical sessions on Fishing Gear Selectivity and Selective Fishing; Marine Mammal and Fisheries Interactions; Fishing down the Food Web; and Modeling and Statistics.

The Society’s 144th annual meeting was sponsored by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Northeastern Division, the Atlantic International Chapter, and the Canadian Aquatic Resources Section of the American Fisheries Society (AFS).

See a complete list of UMassD contributions at the AFS meeting.

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