Collaborations Between Cape's Fishers and Scientists a Topic at International Event

Mar 26, 2016

Shannon Eldredge and Owen Nichols haul in weir.
Credit E. Eldredge /

You've probably heard of the Slow Food movement, but you may not have heard of Slow Fish. It’s an international gathering that happens once a year, focusing on promoting a sustainable, non-industrial approach to bringing fish from sea to table.

The annual event took place earlier this month in New Orleans. One of the presenters was Owen Nichols, Director of Marine Fisheries Research at the Center for Coastal Studies. His talk was on collaborations between small-scale commercial fishers and scientists on Cape Cod.

"Scientists and fishers?" you may say. "Aren't they antagonists?"

Nichols's work often centers around bringing these two groups together to discuss challenges to the ocean environment that include environmental changes and human impacts.  

He says, because of the Cape's small-scale fisheries and his research center's year-round presence, these conversations can start much more casually and develop more naturally, as the two groups work toward improving relationships. In the face of climate change impacts on the ocean, the goal for both fishers and scientists, Nichols says, is the same: to ensure that we have a sustainable fishery in the future.    

Steve Junker speaks with research experts about aspects of our coastal environment for our regular feature The Pelagic Report.  Audio of this week's report is posted above - give it a listen.