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Managing Our Nation's Fisheries
Conference II

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

Because sand lance are an important forage and possible keystone species and their study is likely to reveal significant ecosystem patterns and relationships, the first step of this initiative is to examine the role sand lance play in the marine ecosystem in the Gulf of Maine.

Research partners include Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Harvard University, NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, University of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, University of Massachusetts, MA Division of Marine Fisheries, and numerous local commercial fishermen.

Goals of the MFP Initiative

  • Explore areas of common interest between scientists and fishermen and build strong research partnerships
  • Jointly conceive, prioritize, develop and review research projects and products to increase levels of confidence in results for scientists, fishermen, and managers over the long term
  •  Coordinate scientific research to avoid replication of effort and maximize the use of resources
  • Create new opportunities for expanding funding for collaborative ecosystem research
  • Start by examining the role sand lance play in the marine ecosystem in the Gulf of Maine

Initiative Oversight Board

The MFP convened the following board to provide administrative, fundraising, 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
  • Prof. Allan Robinson, McKay Research Prof. of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Harvard University
  • Dr. Brian Rothchild, Dean, School of Marine Sciences and Technology, University of Massachusetts
  • Steven Tringale, Managing Director, Hinkley, Allen & Tringale, L.L.P.
  • Captain Paul Vitale, commercial fisherman and Treasurer, MFP



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