MFI: Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute

The Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute (MFI) addresses critical issues related to Massachusetts fisheries and fishing communities. MFI fosters a cooperative working relationship among scientists, government, fishermen, and environmentalists. 

Led by the scientists at the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, MFI promotes scientifically based management approaches to sustain a vital food source and support this important marine industry.

Research Initiatives

The MFI’s research program has been supported by both state and federal agencies and includes: 

  • cooperative cod and yellowtail tagging
  • development of a fisheries management decision support system
  • lobster surveys
  • scallop video survey
  • trawl study fleet program
  • water quality assessment in Buzzards Bay

Industry Leadership

The MFI organizes scientific and stakeholder meetings and workshops

  • “End-to-End Review of New England Groundfish Stock Assessments” produced recommendations to improve the scientific basis of management for groundfish fisheries
  • The Fisheries Summit explained the state of the region’s marine fisheries for stakeholders and a strategy for moving forward

Educational Purpose

Graduate study: There is a growing need for marine scientists in federal and state agencies as well as universities. SMAST’s Department of Fisheries Oceanography graduate students and professors work directly with scientists from the Division of Marine Fisheries and local fishermen. This unique, hands-on educational experience prepares graduate students for a future in the dynamic profession of fisheries science.

K-12: MFI also promotes marine education at earlier educational levels. Outreach ranges from one-day presentations in elementary and middle school classrooms to a semester-long internship program for high school seniors. By giving students the opportunity to explore topics such as scallop growth or marine engineering, an early interest in marine science is fostered.