LINCROFT, NJ - Clyde Mackenzie, a senior researcher at the National Marine Fisheries Laboratory (NMFS/NOAA) at Sandy Hook, will discuss the health of the world’s major marine fisheries, with emphasis on New Jersey marine fisheries, at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 27 at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft. The meeting, open to the public, will include the college’s students and the members of the N.J. Friends of Clearwater and the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club.

Almost all of the world’s major fisheries are suffering from over-fishing and pollution, and the populations of many fish species are in danger of collapsing. Both the environmental and economic consequences are staggering, since UN statistics indicate there are 38 million commercial fishermen and fish farmers worldwide, while overall, the fisheries and aquaculture industries employ directly and indirectly more than 500 million people.

Mr. Mackenzie has specialized in the biology and ecology of mollusks in the eastern United States and Canada, as well as studying fish populations worldwide. He has made many survey trips to Latin America to observe and document its mollusk populations, as well as carrying on research in the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. He is the author of many scientific papers.

Mr. Mackenzie wrote about the declining Raritan Bay fishing industry in The Fisheries of Raritan Bay in 1992. It examines the decline of the bay beginning in the 1920s and the fine line that the colorful watermen walked, or cruised past, between state laws and the need to feed their families in those declining years.

Mr. Mackenzies’ book, a landmark ethnographic study of the difficult, back-breaking, and dangerous life of the Raritan Bay watermen, has been compared favorably to the works of John McPhee, the Princeton literature professor and writer for the New Yorker magazine, for Mackenzie’s patient, carefully evolving, and non-judgmental interviews. Mr. Mackenzie didn’t deliberately emulate McPhee, but as a scientist skillfully equaled McPhee’s techniques in his study of the tough, stoic men who harvested the bounty of Raritan Bay.

Like McPhee, his views often have a strong, and sometimes disturbing, ethnographic component, as he studied not only the health and well-being of marine species but also their impact on the bayshore population. (See http://www.visitmonmouth.com/oralhistory/brandnew/MackenzieClyde.htm)

Mr. Mackenzie’s presentation, appropriately on the 20th anniversary his The Fisheries of Raritan Bay, is hosted by the BCC Science Field Station at Sandy Hook to encourage BCC students to be involved in statewide and national debates on the importance of strong environmental regulations.  At the Lincroft campus meeting, a cash buffet begins at 6:00 p.m. and Mr. Mackenzie’s presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.

The NMFS lab, named after the late Congressman James J. Howard, has been studying fish and shellfish in the New Jersey and New York estuaries since 1961.

To get to the meeting at BCC in Lincroft, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Warner Student Life Center (SLC), where the meeting will be in the Twin Lights Rooms 1 and 2. Use parking lot 7.  As you walk eastward towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6. A campus map is at http://www.brookdalecc.edu/PDFFiles/MAPS/MAP_04_08.pdf .