National Fisherman


Doug Lipton has been tapped to fill the newly created position of senior research economist at NMFS. He will start on June 3, 2013.lipton headshot

In this new role, Lipton will provide leadership and strategic direction to the agency's economics and social science research program, the agency says. According to NMFS, Lipton's deep experience in fisheries economics will be invaluable as the agency works to support the economic vitality of the nation's coastal communities and the productivity of its ocean resources. 



"Doug Lipton is a leader in bringing innovative economic thinking to bear on tough issues in managing marine resources and maintaining healthy coastal ecosystems," said Richard Merrick, NMFS' chief science advisor, in an agency news release. "Supporting the well-being of our coastal communities is one of this agency's priority missions. I am very pleased that Doug, as our senior research economist, will help point the way forward as we work to insure that coastal communities benefit from a healthy ocean, today and into the future."

Currently, Lipton is an associate professor in the University of Maryland's department of agricultural and resource economics. Much of his research has focused on valuing marine resources such as fish, shellfish, and recreation, and on understanding how water quality affects the value of those resources.

In addition, NMFS says, he's been instrumental in developing innovative policies that use economic incentives to drive environmental improvements. For example, the agency says, he has recently worked on creating market-based programs to fund oyster reef restoration in order to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. 



Lipton has also been program leader for the Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program for the past 20 years. This program, which is partly funded by NOAA, connects experts in aquaculture, seafood, water quality, and marine and watershed science with the government agencies, citizens groups, and businesses that stand to benefit from their expertise. Among other things, the Sea Grant Extension Program assists coastal communities in contributing to the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The program has also helped the crab industry use technology to improve seafood quality control. 



"I am excited and honored to be appointed NOAA's first Senior Research Economist," said Lipton, who added that economics and social science research are fundamental to maintaining a vital economy and a healthy ecosystem. Lipton is particularly interested in exploring how economic and social science can be incorporated into developing approaches for ecosystem based fisheries management, NMFS says.

"More generally, I will build on our already outstanding economic and social science research program, and to ensure that research results are used to inform our policies," Lipton said. 



Lipton has worked for the agency before. Before beginning graduate studies in economics, Lipton worked as a fisheries biologist for NMFS, and later worked as an economist for the agency while pursuing his doctoral studies. 



Lipton received his Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland. He also holds a master's degree in marine science from the College of William and Mary, and a bachelor's degree in biology from Stony Brook University.

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...

Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

Read more...
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