Massachusetts Marine Liaison Service

Objectives:The Massachusetts Marine Liaison Service (MMLS) plays a critical role in linking a wide variety of groups from government industry and the public sector, that must work together to both wisely use and effectively protect coastal and marine resources. Specific goals of MMLS are to:- Help maintain the flow of information about research needs about Sea Grant research results among these groups -Assist coastal communities to identify problems that might be resolved with the help of MIT researchers or with educational and advisory outreach efforts-Help commercial fishermen adjust to changes in management and resource availability through a variety of outreach methods-Increase the involvement of the MIT community in marine and coastal affairsMethodology:To fulfill MMLS objectives, we will continue to serve on advisory boards, participate in special events/meetings, and write articles for various publications. In addition, we will be working more closely with WHOI Sea Grant’s MAS to coordinate our efforts. Computer aided networking will be emphasized in several areas. Closer interaction with the various organizations involved in marine and coastal affairs will bring to the fore research needs that could be addressed by MIT students. The benefits of the research will be multiplied by the earlier and more thorough dissemination of results through the electronic network. Our new initiatives in the human dimensions of aquaculture will include developments of aquaculture within the constraints of the urban environment and outreach to displaced fishermen to help them decide if and how to make a transition to a shoreside business. Rationale:This proposal taps into innovative ways for users of Marine Advisory Services in general, and MMlS in particular, to participate in the planning and implementation of new projects to address their current interests and needs. As more people become familiar and comfortable with electronic mail and bulletin boards, transfer of technical information will become easier. Since our programs are complementary, working more closely with WHOI Sea Grant’s MAS will multiple the benefits of the individual programs by extending them to a larger group. More student involvement in applied research helps further the educational goals of the university and Sea Grant as well as helping organizations and agencies that need innovative ideas and solutions. Continuation of ongoing activities, such as service on advisory boards and organizations, as well as participation in meetings and events, ensures that information about Sea Grant advisory services is widespread and that Sea Grant researchers have a conduit of information to and from potential user groups. Aquaculture initiatives will help meet the needs of the Commonwealth, an urban shelter, and fishermen displaced by resource depletion and strict management efforts.