Fishing Industry Calling For Better Communication With Researchers
Communication is key. That was the message that resonated from a meeting between NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center and representatives of the fishing industry at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's SMAST Wednesday morning.
Industry folk say there isn't enough outreach from the scientific community when asking for cooperation with fishermen.
Rich Canastra of local seafood auction house BASE New England says many of the men working out on vessels don't feel their input matters.
"They really never saw any results of their involvement. Over the last 15 - 20 years, there hasn't been any good news," Canastra said.
"There's often been that disconnect and lack of understand of how things really work in science world but I think what we've attempted to do today, I think there is some optimism," said NEFSC research fisheries biologist Larry Alade.
Canastra and others agreed better communication could be achieved if researchers put in the effort and show fishermen their input matters.
Alade thought they knew their fishing data from off the vessel is serves as the backbone of NOAA's stock assessments. He said things can certainly be done to open up those lines of communication.
The focus of Wednesday's meeting was to get feedback on previous NOAA assessments and to go over the latest assessment that will be completed this fall.
It will provide an update on 20 different species of groundfish stock off New England waters such as cod, haddock, halibut and flounder.