NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI – As the fishing industry got good news on river herring, it lost one of its strongest advocates. Geir Monsen, vice-president and co-founder of Davisville, RI-based Seafreeze Ltd., died unexpectedly on July 27 at the age of 62.
On Aug. 9, the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a finding that alewife and blueback herring, collectively known as river herring, would not be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Monsen, a strong advocate for realistic management approaches, especially for butterfish and river herring with their potential to curtail numerous commercial fisheries, surely would have been pleased.
“Geir was a dynamo when it came to fisheries management,” said Fred Mattera, a safety trainer and former fisherman from Point Judith. “He kept scientists on their toes. He never wavered. He was instrumental in getting quotas set at reasonable levels and butterfish returned to a harvestable species.
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