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Responsibilities

  • In collaboration with the fishing industry, conduct scientific experiments to:
    • identify gear technology that will reduce bycatches and mortality of prioritized species;
    • develop best practices for the release of prioritized bycatch species;
    • develop best practices for mitigating the impacts of fishing on habitats in the EPO.
  • Conducting workshops for vessel crews to promote the reduction of impacts of the fishery on non-target species and compliance with IATTC resolutions.

Education

  • Ph.D. Zoology 2014 University of Hawai`i at Manoa, Hawai`i Institute of Marine Biology
  • B.S. Biology with a concentration in Marine Biology and Limnology 2005 San Francisco State University, San Francisco, 

Biography

Dr. Melanie Hutchinson has joined the IATTC in 2022 as the Senior Bycatch Mitigation Scientist in the Ecosystems and Bycatch Program. Melanie’s interest in bycatch mitigation began during her early scientific career as a fisheries observer in the Hawaii tuna and swordfish longline fisheries. Melanie works closely with fishers to design and test fisheries improvement strategies in longline, purse seine and small-scale fisheries across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. She uses a variety of techniques including telemetry and physiology to elucidate post release survival rates of discarded species, identify best handling practices and to understand habitat use, movement behavior and fisheries vulnerability across taxa.

Committees

  • WCPFC/SPC: Shark Post Release Mortality Expert Working Group 2017-2019 
  • Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System: Animal Telemetry & Acoustic Data, 2020-present
  • International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, Bycatch Committee and Field Team 2012 – present
  • International Union for the Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission, Shark Specialist Group, 2021 – present
  • Argos Alliance, Ensuring the continuation of satellite-based global data collection. 2022 – present
  • Hawaii Community Tagging Program - 2017 - Present