Got fish? That’s a question scientists are asking themselves with some concern. With over 100 million tons of fish caught in the 1990s, the possibility of overfishing the world’s oceans is a serious issue. The role of fisheries management is to ensure that overfishing does not happen. But what really goes on behind the scenes in fisheries management?
On Thursday, August 19, at 7:00 p.m., at the University of Delaware’s College of Marine Studies in Lewes, Lee Anderson, professor of marine policy, will give an inside look at fisheries management in his presentation, “How Fisheries Management Really Works.” Anderson’s lecture is part of the Ocean Currents Lecture Series, which is held monthly at the Lewes campus from April through September.
According to Anderson, fisheries management in the United States as well as other places tends to be more of a political and legal process than a scientific one that relies on fisheries biology and stock assessments. Laws establish agencies that must act according to specified standards set forth in those laws. Although the functions of the agencies sometimes overlap, some of their standards are mutually exclusive.
In his presentation, Anderson will describe the political and legal process, beginning with Congress to the National Marine Fisheries Service to the Fisheries Management Councils and some other places in between. “The story of fisheries management can be very intriguing at times,” says Anderson. “Fisheries management is more than counting fish and deciding how much to take and how much to leave.”
Anderson also explains that the various stakeholders — commercial harvesters, recreational fishers, and environmental groups — have different views on how much fish should be taken and who should catch it. These groups also may take legal action to protect their interests.
A member of the College of Marine Studies’ faculty since 1974, Anderson earned a doctorate in economics in 1970 from the University of Washington. He also has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. His research focuses on achieving sustainable fisheries through the development of effective management programs. He has written or edited six books and many scientific papers on fisheries economics and the economics of fisheries management.
Since July 1, 2004, Anderson has been assisting the National Marine Fisheries Service two days a week under the Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement. This agreement allows a person from an eligible organization such as an institution of higher education or a state or local government to be temporarily assigned to a position with the federal government. In this capacity, Anderson will serve as economic adviser to the Sustainable Fisheries Office in Silver Spring, Maryland, for a term of one year.
He also has acted in an advisory capacity to the U.S. Department of State, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the U.S. General Accounting Office, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, as well as the governments of New Zealand, Australia, Oman, Morocco, and Chile with respect to fisheries management and development.
The lecture will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Room 104, Cannon Laboratory, at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus, 700 Pilottown Road, Lewes. The hour-long talk will be followed by light refreshments.
While the lecture is free and open to the public, seating is limited and reservations are required. To reserve your seat, please contact the college at (302) 645-4279.