The effects of climate change and commercial fishing on the marine ecosystem will be the focus of this year’s Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund’s series of programs at the Chilmark Public Library.
The series begins Wednesday, May 13, with Dr. Michael. J. Fogarty, who heads the ecosystem assessment program at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole. He will lead a workshop for members of local environmental groups and conservation commissions at 3 p.m., followed by a lecture for the general public, entitled Ecology and Management of the Northeast Continental Shelf, at 5:30 p.m.
Dr. Fogarty holds adjunct professorships at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of Rhode Island, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Maryland. He has served on national and international panels and committees including the Scientific Steering Committee of the U.S. Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) Program, which focuses on climate impacts on marine ecosystems. His research centers on the effects of fishing and the role of climate change in marine ecosystem dynamics.
His talk will describe fundamental aspects of the ecology of the marine ecosystem off the coast of New England and why an understanding of ecology is essential in devising effective management strategies. Changes in the system over the last several decades due to climate, fishing, and other forces will be documented and new approaches to management will be discussed.
The Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund was founded in 2007 to provide vision, logistical and financial support for initiatives and new directions for commercial fishing in Chilmark. The fund also has provided money to several aquaculture projects, including the proposed offshore mussel farm.
There will be seven additional lectures this year, including a visit from marine biologist Dr. Jelle Atema, a Boston University lobster specialist, on July 8, followed by a screening of the documentary film Realm of the Lobster on July 9. For details, call 508-645-3360.