Dr. N. David Bethoney, Research Assistant Professor at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST), has been named executive director of the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (CFRF) in Rhode Island. The non-profit private foundation was established by commercial fishermen to conduct collaborative fisheries research and education projects, according to the CFRF website.
In his new role, Dr. Bethoney will work closely with the Foundation’s executive committee and board of directors to pursue new partnerships and projects. He will also guide staff, scientists, scholars, consultants, and interns on tasks related to ongoing projects.
About Dr. N. David Bethoney
Dr. Bethoney earned his master’s degree at UMass Dartmouth’s SMAST in 2010 where he studied shell disease in lobsters before matriculating into the PhD program where he focused on understanding river herring distributions at sea and using that knowledge to reduce their bycatch.
While a doctoral student, he helped create the River herring Bycatch Avoidance Program to promote sustainable fisheries. More than a decade after its inception, the program continues to serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, environmental groups, the fishing industry, and other stakeholders. “I think it’s really made a difference in spreading awareness about and reducing river herring bycatch,” Bethoney says.
Based on his work with the commercial fishing industry in the Northeast, developing the river herring bycatch avoidance program, and conducting drop camera surveys to support Atlantic sea scallop management, in 2014 Bethoney was tapped to serve as Research Assistant Professor at SMAST.
During his tenure, he worked closely with Dr. Kevin Stokesbury on the drop camera survey, taking the lead with the logistics and execution of the survey in 2014. “During my time, we significantly upgraded the survey camera system from using analog video as the main data source to high-resolution digital still images. Today our images are second to none.” Bethoney says. In addition to continuing to provide reliable information to the U.S. scallop fishery, the team also expanded the survey internationally to Canada and Argentina and adapted it for use in the Nova Scotian sea cucumber fishery.