February 27 at Brookdale

Lincroft, NJ – 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.

On Monday, Feb. 27 at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft campus, 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. The meeting open to the public, will take place in the Warner Student Life Building in room Twin Lights 1&2.

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 numerous survey trips to Latin America to observe and document its mollusk populations. He has done research in the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

The author of many scientific papers, in 1992 Mackenzie wrote about the declining Raritan Bay fishing industry in his book, The Fisheries of Raritan Bay. He 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.

Mackenzie’s book is a landmark ethnographic study of the difficult, back-breaking, and dangerous life of the Raritan Bay watermen.  It has been compared favorably to the works of John McPhee, the Princeton literature professor and writer for the New Yorker magazine, and for Mackenzie’s patient, carefully evolving, and non-judgmental interviews.

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. 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.

Mackenzie’s presentation, appropriately on the 20th anniversary of The Fisheries of Raritan Bay, is hosted by the Brookdale Community College Environmental 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.  More detailed information can be found at  http://www.visitmonmouth.com/oralhistory/brandnew/MackenzieClyde.htm.

At the Lincroft campus meeting, a cash buffet will begin at 6:00 p.m. and Mackenzie’s presentation will start at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 732-857-5305.

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