Scup Tasting at Dave's Marketplace, Friday, May 13th

The CFRF is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Scup Cookoff held Friday, May 6th at Johnson & Wales University: Grilled Scup Tacos by Amber Baden (pictured right).

Please join us for a public tasting of the winning dish at Dave's Marketplace in East Greenwich, Rhode Island (1000 Division St.) on Friday, May 13th from 2-4PM. 

Recipe cards, fillet tutorials, Scup nutrition consultations, and samples of Grilled Scup Tacos will be available.

For more information, please visit: .

Quahog Research Fleet Now Accepting Applications

The CFRF, in partnership with RWU and RI DEM, is launching a Quahog Research Fleet in Narragansett Bay. The survey will involve commercial shellfishermen collecting biological quahog data via bullraking sampling and recording information using Android tablets. Biological data will be used to compare densities to other collection techniques and provide additional information for the quahog stock assessment.

CFRF is currently soliciting Narragansett Bay shellfishermen to join a quahog research fleet. To review the project CLICK HERE.

If you would like to apply to participate in the RI Quahog Research Fleet, please fill out the application and forward either via email, fax or mail to CFRF. To download the vessel application, CLICK HERE. To download the vessel briefing document, CLICK HERE.

Deadline for applications is: June 10, 2016.

CFRF Completes Three Major Multi-Year NOAA Awards

The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (CFRF) is proud to announce the successful completion of three major multi-year NOAA awards spanning the past seven years. The awards were issued through the National Marine Fisheries Service with the funding secured through efforts made by U.S. Senator Jack Reed (RI-D). The work completed under these awards focused on supporting collaborative fisheries research projects important to the sustainable management of fisheries resources in the southern New England region, and involved some 151 members of the commercial fishing industry, 108 researchers and students, and 25 fisheries managers from Rhode Island and across the region. Anna Malek Mercer, CFRF Executive Director, noted that “the projects that CFRF supported and conducted through these awards demonstrate the importance of implementing a collaborative approach to fisheries research to produce applicable results and build trust between the fishing industry, science community, and management system.”

During the seven years of work, the CFRF administered $5.8 million that supported over 30 research projects covering subjects such as conservation gear engineering, bycatch reduction, lobster settlement and recruitment, spiny dogfish stock dynamics, discard mortality estimation, fish habitat characterization, shellfish larval dynamics, industry based biological data collection, underutilized species processing, state fishery profiles, and supplementary trawl and trap surveys, among others. Fred Mattera, CFRF Vice President and owner of the Northeast Safety Training Company, noted that “CFRF has been extremely successful in conservation engineering research, establishing a rich dialogue between fishermen and gear experts that has resulted in a number of new tools to minimize bycatch and promote sustainability”.

All of the supported projects are prime examples of collaborative research, as each was carried out by teams of scientists and members of the fishing industry working together through all phases of research, from the development of the research idea, to the execution of research protocols, analysis and sharing of results, and application to management. The results of these projects were far reaching, with the Lobster and Jonah Crab Research Fleet contributing to the 2015 lobster stock assessment and development of the Jonah Crab Fishery Management Plan, quahog and whelk research projects feeding data into state stock assessments and guiding management efforts, the development and distribution of modified fishing gear to reduce bycatch and improve selectivity in the small mesh trawl and dredge fisheries, and the advancement of fish habitat characterization in an area slated for offshore wind energy development. David Spencer, CFRF President and owner of the F/V Nathaniel Lee out of Newport, RI, further remarked that “The CFRF played a critical role in facilitating discussions between fishermen and scientists to develop research ideas, and ultimately in carrying those ideas through to project completion and management application.”

The CFRF will continue working to implement a collaborative approach to fisheries research, engaging the commercial fishing industry in research to address key issues in science and management. For more information about the CFRF and the projects conducted as part of the multi-year NOAA awards, please visit

Anna Malek Mercer named Executive Director of CFRF - December 2015

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Anna Malek Mercer as Executive Director of the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation effective immediately.  Anna received a Bachelor of Science with a focus in marine biology from the University of New Hampshire in 2008 and a PhD in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography in 2015. Throughout her career, Anna has worked closely with the fishing industry to develop research projects, conduct field work, and communicate and apply results.

Over the past three years, Anna has spearheaded a variety of research projects for the CFRF, with the goal of expanding fishermen’s involvement with scientific data collection and application. Given her background in collaborative research, her knowledge of the scientific process, and her respect for the fishing community, the Board of Directors believes that Anna is uniquely suited to lead the CFRF as Executive Director. Upon acceptance of the position, Anna remarked: “I look forward to bringing a new energy to the CFRF's existing projects and to working with the Board to pursue new initiatives and partnerships. The world of collaborative fisheries research is certainly an exciting place to be and I am committed to ensuring that CFRF continues to be a leader in the field.” The CFRF welcomes you to contact Anna at or (401) 515-4662.