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American Fisheries Society Honors NOAA’s Top Stock Assessment Expert

Richard D. Methot Jr., Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries Science Advisor for Stock Assessments

The American Fisheries Society has honored Richard D. Methot Jr., Ph.D. with the 2013 Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award. The prestigious award known as the “Sully” is given to an individual or organization for outstanding contributions to the conservation of fishery resources. Dr. Methot was selected in recognition of his work on development and application of stock assessment methods used in the U.S. and globally. The award was created in 1991 and was first given to Carl Sullivan, Executive Director of AFS, shortly before his death. It is now awarded every year in his memory. 

Methot has dedicated more than 30 years to improving fish stock assessment science. In October 2012, he was selected as the first NOAA Science Advisor for Stock Assessments and tasked with bringing a national vision and approach to stock assessments across the agency and conducting research to improve methods in the U.S. and abroad. A renowned researcher who has developed cutting edge approaches used for stock assessment today, Methot continues to strive for progress. 

Effective communication of assessment science to the public, lawmakers, and fishery managers is high on his list of accomplishments. With colleagues at University of Washington and elsewhere, he is training a new generation of stock assessment scientists. Expanding the scope of stock assessment investigations to include ecosystem and climate factors is one of his top priorities.

“Management of marine fisheries based on sound scientific advice is eliminating overfishing, rebuilding fish stocks, and guiding sustainable fisheries” says Methot.  “The challenge for the coming decades will be to better account for shifting climate and ecosystem effects while providing firm but flexible guidance for fisheries.”

Look for more about this year’s award in the December 2013 issue of Fisheries magazine.