2008 Annual Report
Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Message from Kate Burns
Merging Tradition and Innovation
By Kate Burns, GMRI's new Director of Community Initiatives
 

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The community programs are here to engage and serve and facilitate our coastal stake holders and fishing community to address many of the challenges they have and to strive toward a more sustainable future. In the grand scheme of things, that is what we are here to do.

The nice thing about the community program at the moment, it’s a program in the early stages of pretty exciting growth. I think the next few years are going to tell pretty interesting stories about where we are going. It is a challenging landscape, and it’s a challenging fishery management world and a challenging marine environment. The extent of dependence and the interest and engagement in the sea by a very diverse range of interests is huge, and that’s exciting.

I think some seminal moments in the last six months was sitting in on my first Marine Resources Education Program Training. When I saw the fisherman and the science being presented and the depth of interest and enthusiasm and understanding and the quality of the training, that was just a great insight and I was really excited by what I was seeing there. That was one seminal moment. I think another one as being seeing a range of people in the industry and the new ground fish sectors and our wonderful team of staff actually getting a lot of challenging operational issues over the line to allow sectors to start at the beginning of May.

The seafood program is just exciting every day! There is always a lot of interesting information coming out and we have had quite a bit of good press coverage and good stories and good messages. What is really nice is the hunger because people are interested in that, all the time you are seeing, ‘This is right we are doing the right thing here,’ so that is exciting too.

My wish for the coastal communities: I think really important is their sense of ownership and engagement and being a part of the management process. Their sense of confidence in the marine resources; that they know what they can do and what they’re place is and that they have to respect the ocean and resources and look after them and a really good sense of stewardship. So a diversified coastal community with a pride of its heritage and a pride of its past but also innovative, flexible, entrepreneurial. Above all, a sustainable fishing industry that can service our future generations.

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