Michael G. Scott Distinguished Lecture Series Features Tuna Researcher - Humboldt State Now

Michael G. Scott Distinguished Lecture Series Features Tuna Researcher

Researcher David Itano will present an ecological perspective on effects of bycatch and discards in tuna fisheries on Wednesday as the second part of this year’s Michael G. Scott Distinguished Lecture series, hosted by the Humboldt State Department of Fisheries Biology.

Researcher David Itano will present an ecological perspective on effects of bycatch and discards in tuna fisheries on Wednesday as the second part of this year’s Michael G. Scott Distinguished Lecture series, hosted by the Humboldt State Department of Fisheries Biology.

The lecture is open to the public and free of charge. It begins at 7 p.m. in the Native American Forum in the Behavioral and Social Sciences building, located at the intersection of Union and 16th streets in Arcata.

Itano’s research focuses on changes in the tuna industry that have drastically reduced dolphin mortality but have also produced unexpected side effects. The use of seining on schools with artificial rafts simulating natural drifting logs has enhanced tuna-fishing efficiency with the unintended consequence of increasing the bycatch of juvenile tuna and other fish species.

The Michael G. Scott Distinguished Lecture Series in Fisheries Biology was established as a tribute by the parents of Humboldt State University Fisheries Biology alumnus, Michael G. Scott. As a child, Scott was enamored with wildlife, eventually focusing his interests on fishing. He served in Vietnam to support combat units, completed his degree in Fisheries Biology at HSU and was a helicopter-borne firefighter (smokejumper).

Scott ended up serving as a U.S. Forest Service ranger and fish biologist in Alaska. He spent a much of his time in the field and most of his projects related to improving fish habitat in the Misty Fjords and Tongass National Forest areas. He died in 1987, while living in Alaska. Upon their death, Scott’s parents, Cuthbert L. Scott, Jr., and Wilma M. Scott, funded an endowment to provide annual support for the lecture series through a $200,000 bequest to the HSU Advancement Foundation.

“The lecture series is designed to bring prominent scientific speakers to the university to foster education, teaching and research related to fisheries biology,” said David Hankin, Chair of Fisheries Biology. “The Scotts’ intention was to enhance the program by facilitating exposure for students and members of the academic and campus community to the ideas and research of prominent regional, national and international fisheries biologists.”

The inaugural lecture took place in October 2013 and was delivered by sockeye salmon expert Daniel Schindler, professor of aquatic and fishery sciences at the University of Washington. His talk examined the ongoing environmental conflict pitting fish versus mineral exploration in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed—the world’s greatest salmon fishery.

For more information, visit the Department of Fisheries Biology website at www.humboldt.edu/fisheries.