Former Alaskan longline fisher will discuss industry changes

Dean Adams, a former Alaskan longline fisher and author, will be a featured speaker at Western Washington University on Friday, Oct. 12.

Adams’ talk, which will cover his career in the Alaskan halibut and sablefish longline fishing industry, will be at 3 p.m. in Room 125 of WWU’s Communications Facility.

The free event is part of the university’s Huxley College of the Environment speaker series.

Adams’ heyday in commercial longline fishing spanned the industry’s transition out of the “derby years,” prior to the creation of an individual fishing quota system in 1995.

The IFQ system was a radical departure from traditional fishery management. Since its implementation, the system has been praised as a factor extending fishing seasons, minimizing waste and bycatch of target and nontarget species, as well as improving safety for the fishing industry and for food quality.

Adams participated in the federal fisheries management process leading up to the implementation of the IFQ system, both individually and as a representative for the Fishing Vessel Owners Association, a Seattle-based group of owners and operators. He will tell the story from his perspective, which will include discussion of problems associated with the IFQ system—some anticipated, and some not.

Huxley College has a series of future speakers lined up throughout the fall:

– Oct. 19: Sustainable developer and author A-P Hurd will lead a discussion of his book, “The Carbon Efficient City” (

– Oct. 26: Kirsten Wert, Whatcom Council of Governments will offer practical advice on Smart Trips/Transportation in Bellingham.

– Nov. 2: Sylvia Yang of WWU’s Shannon Point Marine Center will discuss organism-environment interactions in intertidal marine systems.

– Nov. 9: Jack Nisbet and David Douglas will present “A Naturalist at Work: An Illustrated Exploration Across Two Centuries in the Pacific Northwest.”

– Nov. 16: Screening (excerpts) and discussion of the film “American Meat” with director-producer Graham Meriwether.

– Nov. 30: The Future of Land, Land Trusts, and Food. Panelists: Laura Ridenour (Sustainable Connections), Steve Hollenhorst (dean of the Huxley College of the Environment), Jim Ashby (Community Food Co-op), Stephen Trinkaus (owner of Terra Organica and the Bellingham Public Market).

– Dec. 7: Scott Miles and Rebekah Green of WWU’s Resilience Institute will speak on Japan’s recovery in housing and critical infrastructure following its devastating earthquake and tsunami.

For more information, contact the main office of Huxley College of the Environment, at 360-650-3520.

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