Fish and Fisheries Public Seminar Series Starts April 3 in Gloucester

UMass Amherst’s Large Pelagics Research Center brings four expert speakers

AMHERST, Mass. – Experts will discuss the latest research on Atlantic bluefin tuna, fisheries and food webs, ocean ecology, right whale conservation and many related topics as part of a month-long series kicking off at 7 p.m. on Thursday evening, April 3 at Maritime Gloucester. The series was organized by the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Large Pelagics Research Center (LPRC) at Hodgkins Cove.

All lectures are free and open to the public at Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop, Gloucester.

The first speaker will be UMass Amherst biological oceanographer Molly Lutcavage, director of the LPRC, speaking on “Atlantic bluefin, Bigeye and Billfish: Research for Sustainable Fisheries and the Challenges That Go with It” on April 3. The LPRC is a world-class research program for the study of giant bluefin tuna, leatherback turtles and other open-ocean wandering species, or pelagics. Lutcavage and the lab have international reputations notable for their research partnerships with fishermen.

The second speaker in the Thursday night series will be fisheries biologist Jonathan Grabowski of Northeastern University, whose April 10 talk is titled, “From Food Webs to Fisheries: The Interdependence of Socioeconomics and Ecology in the Gulf of Maine.” Grabowski’s research interests include fisheries, conservation biology and ecological economics, often focused on economically important species such as lobster, cod, herring, monkfish and oysters, plus ecosystem management and habitat degradation.

Two speakers, UMass Amherst LPRC postdoctoral researcher Angelia Vanderlaan and Moira Brown of the New England Aquarium, both North Atlantic right whale experts, will speak on April 17 in a talk titled, “Minimizing Vessel Strikes to Endangered Right Whales: A Crash Course in Conservation, Science and Policy.” Brown led efforts to persuade the Canadian government, the shipping industry and marine scientists to reduce right whale mortality from shipping in the Bay of Fundy. For the first time in the history of the International Maritime Organization, in 2003, shipping lanes were amended to avoid collisions with this and other endangered species. 

The final speaker of the series will be research fishery biologist Michael Jech of the NOAA Marine Fisheries Services’ Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole, on April 24 in a talk titled, “Near and far, large and small: what underwater sound can tell us about fish and plankton in the sea.” Jech conducts acoustic surveys of Atlantic herring, and collaborates with scientists throughout New England to advance the field of fisheries acoustics in fisheries and ecosystem management.