Melissa Mahoney

Manager, Oceans Technology Solutions


Areas of expertise:
Fisheries Management/policy, human dimensions of fisheries, collaborative fisheries research, electronic monitoring, visual communications

Melissa supports our ongoing policy work in the West Coast Groundfish fishery, helping to secure durable conservation and economic outcomes for the 80+ vessels participating in the catch shares program implemented by NOAA Fisheries in 2011. In particular, she leads our partnership with the California Groundfish Collective and The Nature Conservancy to develop and implement an electronic monitoring (EM) program for the bottom trawl sector of the fishery.

Melissa is also leading a scoping process to expand EDF’s engagement in West Coast highly migratory species (HMS) fishery for swordfish that occurs primarily off southern California.


Melissa’s fisheries background spans across academic, governmental, and non-profit sectors. She has performed a wide variety of fisheries research projects including age and growth studies of rockfish, fishery sustainability and markets, socio-economic analyses, geo-spatial mapping and qualitative ethnographic research.Early in her career, Melissa developed a fisheries education project for Monterey Bay area youth (now run by NOAA’s Sanctuary Program), and most recently a documentary film to tell the stories of California’s commercial fishermen (

Prior to joining EDF’s team, Melissa worked for The Nature Conservancy of CA, forming collaborative partnerships with fishermen to test new co-management techniques, market-based incentives, and monitoring technologies for improved fisheries management. Melissa currently serves as Steering Committee member to the National EM Working Group and as an Advisor to the Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust, a local non-profit serving the commercial fishing industry.


  • M.Sc. Marine Science, San Francisco State University/Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
  • B.A. Environmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder


Co-producer: Of the Sea: Fishermen | Seafood | Sustainability. 2015. Documentary Film, 82 minutes.

Pomeroy, C., C. Thomson and M. Stevens. 2010. California’s North Coast Fishing Communities: Historical Perspective and Recent Trends. California Sea Grant Technical Report T-072, 340 pp. (

Pomeroy, C. & Stevens, M. 2008. Santa Cruz Harbor Commercial Fishing Community Profile. La Jolla, CA: California Sea Grant Project Report pub. No. T-066, 34pp. (

Stevens, M.M., Andrews, A.H., Cailliet, G.M., Coale, K.H. and C.C. Lundstrom. 2004. Age, growth and radiometric age validation of the blackgill rockfish, Sebastes melanostomus. Fishery Bulletin. 102(4): 711-722. (