A Response – Speak plain English: Scientists can do a better job talking to fishermen

I have just read your recent article by Brett Favaro, director of the Fisheries Sciences at Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute. “Speak plain English, Scientists can do a better job talking to fishermen, CBC News”. It mirrors what the scientists at the Northeast Science Center at Woodshole have concluded. They are hiring someone to do exactly that, translate between the scientists and the fishermen. I can’t believe that so many brilliant scientists could be so very “intellectually challenged” and arrogant.
I have spent my entire adult life fluctuating between fishing and science. My husband is a full time commercial fisherman and my youngest son is a PhD bio mathematician. They understand each other perfectly well. My son fished with his father from the age of 12. He understands fishing and how to listen and how to explain science.
In my opinion the problem is not that the fishermen do not understand the scientists. It is that the scientists no longer understand fishing. The program that you need to add to the curriculum is a year on the back deck learning the ins and outs of actual fishing. How to garner the best data possible from a working fishing vessel. What we have lost is the ability of the scientist to really listen to the fishermen and value their observations.
We should take a lesson from the renown scientist, Henry Bigelow, who spent most of his working career on the back deck of fishing vessels and paying fishermen for their knowledge. Listening to their observations and carefully cataloging them.
Ellen Goethel
Biologist/Owner Explore the Ocean World,LLC
Hampton, NH USA 19:35

3 Responses to A Response – Speak plain English: Scientists can do a better job talking to fishermen

  1. United we stand,divided we beg says:

    Perfectly said!!!!! Thank-you Mrs. Goethel for posting this!!!! I am a lobsterman out of Stonington, Maine and would welcome any scientist to work with me for a season learning what I see and why I do the things I do!!

  2. ouragan says:

    C’est exactement ce que devraient faire touts les scientifiques pour tous les sujets concernant des activités économiques et sociales.
    Nous éleveurs traditionnels et respectueux de la nature subissons la pression de la dictature écologiste en faveur du tout sauvage.


    • Borehead says:

      This is translated through google translate: That’s exactly what should make all scientists for all subjects concerning economic and social activities.
      We farmers traditional and respectful of nature suffer pressure from the green for all savage dictatorship.
      Thank you for bringing our attention to your issue!

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