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Groundfish Fleet Restructuring (GFR) - Team

Edward H. Backus
Director of Fisheries Program and Mid-South Oregon Coast Program (Ecotrust)
Ed is a graduate of Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and has 15 years of experience in ecological research, habitat conservation, conservation planning and development of organizational skill in GIS. He managed Alaska and regional coastal temperate rain forest GIS programs and other watershed gap analysis projects while at Conservation International (CI). In 1985 he implemented the first PC-based GIS system in Africa and from 1987–1993 was co-leader of CI's GIS program in its Conservation Planning and technical Cooperation group. He coordinated CI's development of alternative, multilingual, PC-based GIS software for use in Latin America by small conservation groups, as well as overseeing training and project technical assistance programs; in addition he directed remote sensing and GPS applications for CI.

Astrid J. Scholz
Director of Groundfish Information and Analysis Project (Ecotrust)
Astrid Scholz received her Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from the University of California at Berkeley. Her dissertation work focused on the use of biological diversity in pharmaceutical research, and the valuation of genetic resources in the context international negotiations over the management of biological diversity. Trained as an ecological economist, Dr. Scholz is interested in the interface between ecological and social systems, and integrative models of the human relationship with nature and natural resources. Her past work has included a study of competing land use values in the ranchlands of Colorado, and the challenges these entail in reaching consensual resource management decisions. More recently, consulting for an environmental organization (Environmental Defense), she has contributed social science and economics expertise to the marine reserves designation process in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, authoring a report and giving testimony to the California Fish and Game Commission on a comprehensive framework for conducting cost-benefit analyses.

Peter Huhtala
Acting Director (PMCC)
Peter Huhtala is an Astoria, OR native with strong ties to fishing communities along the West Coast. Formerly PMCC's Program Director, Peter has coordinated the Rockfish Rebuilding Campaign since its launch in 2001. He serves on the Executive Committee of the MFCN, and is President of Columbia Riverkeeper and Executive Director of Columbia Deepening Opposition Group. Peter's diverse expertise includes journalism, public speaking and political strategy.

Jennifer Bloeser
Science Director (PMCC)
Jennifer Bloeser holds a BS in Marine Biology and Environmental Science from East Stroudsburg University, and an MS in Fisheries from Humboldt State University (HSU). Her thesis was on the biology and population structure of an anomalous population of California halibut in Humboldt Bay. Jennifer authored the highly acclaimed PMCC report Diminishing Returns: The Status of West Coast Rockfish, serves on the PFMC's Habitat Committee, and oversees PMCC's new collaborative research program. She has researched Herptofauna (amphibians and reptiles) for the U.S. Forest Service, taught ecology of marine fishes at HSU, and prior to graduate school was an educator and naturalist at Newfound Harbor Marine Institute, FL; Pilcher Park Nature Center, Joliet, IL; and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Caroline Gibson
Communications Director (PMCC)
Caroline Gibson brings several years of program and public relations experience to PMCC from the University of Maine Darling Marine Center, and Marine Conservation Biology Institute. Caroline has produced numerous publications, and organized scientific workshops and news conferences. A Newfoundlander, she studied marine biology at Memorial University, spent three years as a fisheries observer in U.S. fixed and mobile gear fisheries, and has conducted research on sharks in the North Atlantic, Caribbean and Red Sea.

Marlene Bellman
Research Associate (Ecotrust / PMCC)
Marlene Bellman has been awarded the 2001 Oregon Resource Fellowship by Oregon Sea Grant. She is pursuing a graduate degree at Oregon State University in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. She received her BS degree from the Evergreen State College with emphasis in marine biology and chemistry. Marlene continued to work in laboratory and field biology while living in Washington. This included water quality sampling, environmental monitoring using marine benthic and freshwater macroinvertebrates, strategies for control of invasive cordgrass in the Willapa Bay estuary, shoreline habitat inventory and classification, and habitat improvement projects. Upon moving to Oregon, Marlene began working for Extension Sea Grant to support outreach efforts in marine fisheries. Several projects involved collaboration and communication between fishery management and fishing industry communities. The Groundfish Disaster Outreach Program, Women's Coalition for Pacific Fisheries, Heads-Up! website, and the Investment in Trust study are some examples. In the future, she hopes to examine issues in groundfish reproductive biology and fish habitat requirements.

Our Work

Joint Management Plan Review

Marine Life Protection Act Initiative

Marine Planning


Field Notes

Mailing List Updates
April 11
February 21
December 17
October 4
August 9
June 26
April 23
March 15
January 29
December 24
November 30


Learn More

GFR Final Report

Frequently Asked Questions

The Ecotrust/Pacific Marine Conservation Council Team

Harvesting the Sea: Quotas Work to Protect Canada's Catch The Sacramento Bee

The Pacific Fishery Management Council provides information specific to groundfish management.

The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission provides commercial, recreational, and economic data.

The Northwest Regional Office of the National Marine Fisheries Service provides links to current groundfish regulations and management measures such as the groundfish fishery management plan.

"Commercial Fisheries Data Collection Procedures for US Pacific Coast Groundfish" details the process of groundfish data collection.

The October 2000 Groundfish Fishery Strategic Plan "Transition to Sustainability" is available through the Pacific Fishery Management Council website as a pdf.

A view of the groundfish fishery system.


Edward Backus
Vice President,
PO Box 2330
Newport, OR 97365
tel: 541.265.8508
cell: 503.939.5500
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Charles Steinback
Director of Marine Planning
tel: 503.467.0777
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