Sustainable Fisheries

Course Dates

June 11, 2018 to June 25, 2018


One semester of college-level biology.

Course Description

Students will explore the theory and practice of fisheries sustainability through lectures, readings, laboratory exercises, and interactions with local fishermen. This course will focus primarily on species harvested in the Gulf of Maine, with an emphasis on finfish. Students in the course should be prepared for lots of time at-sea aboard research vessels and commercial fishing vessels.

Topics and activities included in this course are:

  • An overview of commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Maine
  • Fish collection and dissections
  • Fishing gear types and modifications
  • Age and growth techniques (length-frequency distributions, otoliths, scales, maturity)
  • Quantitative data collection and analysis (species assemblage, diversity, catch-per-unit-effort, forecasting, stock assessment)
  • Current, past and future directions in fisheries management strategies (including sector and ecosystem-based, community-based and adaptive management)
  • Collaborative research and ‘conservation’ fishing gear
  • Environmental changes like ocean acidification and global warming
  • Perspectives from different stakeholders in today’s New England fisheries
  • Hands-on demonstrations with commercial fishermen from different industries (inluding time aboard a variety of different commercial vessels)
  • Sustainable seafood and the market-place
  • Human dimensions of sustainable fishing (cultural and socio-economic issues)


UNH Open Aquaculture Sustainable Fisheries at-sea

(L) SML students assist during feeding time at UNH's open ocean aquaculture facility at the Isles of Shoals (photo by T. Garzo). (R) At-sea aboard local, commercial fishing vessels (photo by J. Coyer).


Dr. Erik Chapman:

Acting Director, N.H. Sea Grant; Fisheries & Aquaculture Program Leader and Commercial Fisheries Extension Specialist, N.H. Sea Grant; University of New Hampshire

Owen Nichols:

Director of Marine Fisheries Research, Center for Coastal Studies; Lecturer, Massachusetts Maritime Academy; University of Massachusetts School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST)

Lindsey Williams:

University of New Hampshire, Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science (NRESS) Program; UNH Carsey School of Public Policy, Community and Environment Research Team

Course Video

Dr. Erik Chapman gives an overview on Community Supported Fisheries (CSFs).



Course Numbers

Cornell: BIOSM 2800 (3 Credits)
UNH: MEFB 702 (4 Credits)