- Seabird Bycatch
- Seabird biology and distribution
- Marine fisheries management
- Collaborative research
- Longline fisheries
Ed Melvin is the Marine Fisheries Senior Scientist for Washington Sea Grant and an Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences. He maintains a program of collaborative research blended with directed outreach education to help solve conservation-related problems in the North Pacific commercial fishing industry. For the past 20 years, his award-winning work has focused on developing methods to reduce seabird bycatch.
Ed is a member of the U.S. Endangered Species Act Short-tailed Albatross Recovery Team and serves on the Seabird Bycatch Working Group of the Agreement for the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, a multilateral agreement between 13 countries to coordinate international activity around albatross and petrel conservation.
Ed also served as a judge of the WWF Smart Gear competitions, which seek innovative, practical, cost-effective solutions that can reduce fisheries bycatch. Ed has been awarded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Stewardship and Sustainability Award for Science, Research and Technology; the College of Ocean and Fisheries, UW, Science Distinguished Research Award; the Pacific Seabird Group Special Achievement Award; and the 2015 Presidential Migratory Bird Federal Stewardship Award for his seabird conservation work in fisheries.
Most recently, Ed concluded a multi-year effort with the Japanese tuna industry based in South Africa, which culminated in authoring two peer-reviewed publications on best practices for reducing seabird bycatch in pelagic (ocean-going) longline fisheries targeting tuna and related species. He also recently led a collaborative research initiative to develop seabird bycatch avoidance options for the sablefish longline fleet working off California, Oregon and Washington and is currently renewing outreach to the Alaska longline fleet in response to an uptick in albatross bycatch in those longline fisheries. In 2019, Ed testified on a bill to implement the Agreement on Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels at a legislative hearing held by the House Natural Resources Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ed holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in fisheries from Humboldt State University.