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Fisheries Institute for Scientific Habitat and Ecosystem Research (FISHER Institute)

The Massachusetts Fishermen's Partnership (MFP) is coordinating a multi-faceted research initiative that strives to coalesce fishermen’s and scientist’s empirical and technical knowledge into a credible and durable scientific foundation that encourages the collaboration between fishermen and scientists and promotes an ecosystem based approach to fisheries management.

The main goal of the FISHER Initiative is to establish a scientific foundation for an ecological understanding of this environment and to conduct ecosystem research that may provide a scientific foundation for a future shift away from the single-species management that has received increasing criticism from fishermen and regulators alike. Both scientists and fishermen believe this ecosystem approach merits immediate attention.

The MFP convenes the FISHER Initiative in coordination with the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Harvard University, NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, University of Massachusetts School of Marine Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sea Grant College Program, Boston University’s Marine Program, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and numerous commercial fishermen from ports along the coast from New Hampshire to Provincetown. FISHER participants aim to collaboratively establish a foundation for an ecological understanding of our marine environment.

Goals of the FISHER Initiative:

  • Examine the role sand eels play in the marine ecosystem in and around Stellwagen Bank and the Massachusetts Bay area as a starting point for this initiative;
  • Explore areas of common interest between scientists and fishermen and build strong research partnerships between them;
  • Jointly conceive, prioritize, develop and review subsequent research projects, products, and reports in order to increase levels of confidence in data sets and results for scientists, fishermen, and managers over the long term;
  • Coordinate scientific research on a broad scale to avoid replication of effort and maximize the use of appropriate resources; and
  • Create new opportunities for expanding funding for collaborative ecosystem research based on the strength and breadth of this collaboration.

See also the November 2007 Commercial Fisheries News article, FISHER puts industry knowledge to good use.

FISHER Institute Board of Directors:

The MFP has convened the following Board of Directors who will provide administrative support, fund raising development, and research guidance:

  • Captain Edward Barrett, commercial fisherman and President, MFP
  • JJ Bartlett, Executive Director, Fishing Partnership Health Plan
  • Captain Robert Marcella, commercial lobsterman and Vice President, MFP
  • Dr. Allan Robinson, Gordon McKay Research Professor of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Harvard University
  • Dr. Brian Rothschild, Dean, Intercampus Graduate School of Marine Sciences and Technology, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
  • Steven Tringale, Managing Director, Hinkley, Allen & Tringale, L.L.P.
  • Captain Paul Vitale, commercial fisherman and Treasurer, MFP

For more information, please contact David Bergeron, Executive Director, Massachusetts Fishermen's Partnership at 978- 282-4847 or 888-282-8816 or dbergeron@mass-fish.org.

 

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