UMass Dartmouth Professor Receives Conservation Award

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Professor Kevin Stokesbury received the 2004 Belding Award for marine resource conservation Thursday in a ceremony at the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Professor Kevin Stokesbury received the 2004 Belding Award for marine resource conservation Thursday in a ceremony at the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River. 

Created in 1989, the Belding Award is given annually to the individual who, in the opinion of the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission (MFAC), has done the most to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the Commonwealth’s marine resources. 

While at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology, Dr. Stokesbury has focused his research on the Atlantic sea scallop. His laboratory has received much attention in recent years, notably for surveys of the entire U.S. Atlantic sea scallop resource using an innovative video system that brings a new precision to the data. Stokesbury’s findings have helped regulators arrive at management plans that have reinvigorated the sea scallop fishery while still conserving the resource. 

According to Stokesbury, the 48 video surveys completed to date were accomplished thanks to strong collaboration by the scallop fishing fleet. “All vessels have been donated,” he notes, “as has much of the food, fuel, and labor. Some 75 fishermen have participated in the cruises alongside our researchers and graduate students.” 

Said Mark Amorello, chairman of the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, “Dr. Stokesbury has provided exemplary service to the Commonwealth ever since he joined forces with Dr. Rothschild at SMAST. I know he's been of 
great help to Director Paul Diodati of the Division of Marine Fisheries and, by extension, to the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission.” Dr. Brian Rothschild is the director of the School For Marine Sciences and Technology. 

At the same ceremony, Steve Murawski of NOAA Fisheries, and formerly Chief Stock Assessment Scientist at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, was presented with the 2003 Belding Award in absentia. 

Dr. David Belding, for whom the award is named, was well-known to both medical students and shellfish wardens in the first half of the 20th century, as he conducted two distinguished careers—in medicine and marine biology—simultaneously. His work in the latter field became a cornerstone of today’s Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.


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