Prof. Kevin Stokesbury has been awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries to further the development of a new non-capture survey technique, and apply it to yellowtail flounder stock assessment on Georges Bank.
Yellowtail flounder are a "bottleneck species." Their estimated low numbers have led to strict catch limits that threaten other fisheries (scallops, groundfish) that inadvertently catch them. Yet these estimates are questionable due to problems with the stock assessments.
Stokesbury and company will be sampling with a modified groundfish trawl with a video camera mounted in the cod end, which can be towed closed or open, allowing for sampling without removing any fish from the population. A pilot study with this gear in April calibrated the swim-through technique against standard trawl sampling. A team of researchers and fishermen leaves port November 6 to test a version of the gear refined by lead designer Tor Bendiksen.
In a separate effort funded by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Stokesbury's lab will use the SMAST-industry cooperative video survey to examine the substrate habitat in the area proposed for offshore windfarm leasing. The data collected under this proposal will be linked to the existing SMAST video data set to provide a baseline for future environmental assessment of windfarm proposals.
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Prof. Kevin Stokesbury has been named UMass Dartmouth Scholar of the Year, the Faculty Federation announced last week. He is Professor and Chair in the SMAST Department of Fisheries Oceanography.
Prof. Stokesbury is well known for the drop-camera system for scallop surveys that he developed with Prof. Brian Rothschild and has deployed ever since in cooperation with the scallop fleet. That system is strongly associated with the recovery of the industry and its successful operation ever since. He is currently involved in developing a non-capture system for surveying groundfish populations.
Prof. Stokesbury's previous awards and honors include the David H. Wallace Award (National Shellfish Association, 2013), Dr. David L. Belding Award for marine resource conservation (2004), and the UMass President's Award for Public Service (2002). He was named "Friend of the Fishing Industry” (Port of New Bedford) in 2008, and in 2013 his research laboratory, the Marine Fisheries Field Research Group, was selected for the Outstanding Organization Award from the Southern New England Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.
His students have won "Best Paper," "Best Presentation," and "Best Use of Technology in a Poster" awards from the National Shellfisheries Association, the International Pectinid Workshop, the ICES Annual Science Conference, and the American Fisheries Society, national and regional level.
He will receive his award at a banquet on December 4.
October 30, 2013
Some 200 friends, colleagues and well-wishers gathered at the Century House in Acushnet, MA, on Friday, October 18, to celebrate the remarkable career of distinguished fishery scientist and lifelong friend of the fishing industry, Dr. Brian Rothschild.
The ceremonies (photo album) included tributes to Dr. Rothschild’s achievements from the city, state and national levels. New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell read an official municipal resolution “in appreciation for [Rothschild’s] commitment to innovative and accurate science and for his indispensable contributions to the fishing industry … .”
Majority Leader Bruce Tarr delivered a resolution from the Massachusetts Senate “honoring Brian J. Rothschild for a lifetime of dedication and achievement in the field of marine fisheries.”
A Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition was presented by Rep. William Keating (left in photo) for Dr. Rothschild’s “unmatched contributions to marine sciences and fisheries research.”
Also on the dais were State Representative Tony Cabral; John Bullard, Northeast Administrator, NOAA Fisheries; Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Director Paul Diodati; UMassD Chancellor Divina Grossman; Richard Canastra, President of Whaling City Seafood Display Auctions; Woods Hole oceanographer Prof. Kenneth Brink; and SMAST Prof. Kevin Stokesbury. SMAST Dean Steven Lohrenz was Master of Ceremonies.
As an indication of how much he can be expected to relax in retirement, Dr. Rothschild was elected president of the fledgling Center for Sustainable Fisheries just days after his retirement celebration.
Marine Technology Reporter visited with a number of colleagues at the recent Oceans 2013 MTS/IEEE San Diego conference, including SMAST Dean Steve Lohrenz.
Dean Lohrenz attended the conference to chair the Marine Education and Outreach session and to promote SMAST's new Professional Science Master’s in Coastal and Ocean Administration, Science and Technology.
Lohrenz noted that the new program was created in response "to a growing demand in education to provide mid-career professionals and other students with different education goals with an opportunity to advance their skills."
"This two-year, non-thesis master’s program blends the study of science and engineering with elective courses in management, policy, economics and law," he said, "and it provides a strong emphasis on writing and communication skills. The last semester of the program requires that the student obtain an internship in industry, government, nonprofit or academia."
Reprinted with permission from the October 2013 edition of Marine Technology Reporter: www.seadiscovery.com