Russell Brown

Deputy Science and Research Director, Northeast Fishery Science Center

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center is responsible for producing science for living marine resources from approximately North Carolina up through the Scotian shelf in Canadian waters.

And so we study a whole variety of organisms from phytoplankton up to whales and we also focus on their habitat and the economics that are associated with our commercial and recreational fisheries. I think the partnerships that we have with a lot of other organizations are really instrumental to creating a package of science that really addresses society's needs.

We have certain expertise at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center but we also partner with people - a number of different academic and research institutes to really further the science. It's the interdisciplinary aspects of our science that are absolutely critical to making them effective.

So we partner with a number of organizations. One of the organizations we partner with is the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.  And that's an institute that's been very valuable in terms of its expertise. We have a lot of grant relationships where we rely on the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to conduct cooperative research. We have had a number of important tagging programs – one on Atlantic cod that was particularly informative.

We also work with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute on controversial issues, because the institute itself has a reputation for being neutral in terms of its interactions with stakeholders and government agencies.

And so when we have controversies – things like the trawlgate controversy that happened in 2002, and more recently some of our cod stock assessments – those partnerships and joint projects with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute have been very instrumental in terms of moving the science forward.