Rod M. Fujita

Lead Senior Scientist, Oceans Emerging Issues


Areas of expertise:
Oceans Program, catch shares, Latin America & the Caribbean, renewing fisheries, marine protected areas

Rod co-founded EDF’s Oceans Program and is a leader in the theory and practice of sustainable fisheries that align conservation with the business of fishing. While he currently focuses on sustainable fishery management solutions, his career at EDF has spanned nearly three decades during which he has worked on a wide variety of environmental issues including climate change, acid rain, nitrogen deposition, pollution, ecosystem restoration and overfishing.

As the Research & Development Director for EDF’s Fishery Solutions Center, Rod supervises a talented group of scientists and policy experts who develop tools to diagnose global fisheries problems, design better management programs, and participate in capacity-building efforts. He has extensive experience working with fishing communities, regulators, conservation practitioners, and business leaders in many countries, including the U.S., Mexico, Belize, Cuba, Brazil, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

As a scientist and consensus-builder, Rod has served on a number of state and federal advisory bodies, National Academy of Sciences and other academic panels, and as an expert in public forums. He has written numerous scientific and popular pieces, including the book Heal the Ocean, which explores solutions for protecting the world’s oceans. Rod received his Ph.D. in Marine Ecology at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts and holds a B.A. in Biology from Pitzer College. In his free time, he enjoys kayaking, scuba diving, reading, hiking, wildlife watching, and playing music with friends.


  • Ph.D., Marine Biology, Boston University Marine Program, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole.
  • Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation (2000)
  • Postdoctoral fellow, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution (1987-1988)
  • Research associate, Oregon State University College of Oceanography and Marine Science Center (1985-1987)
  • Guest investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study mariculture in Japan (1978-1979)
  • Co-founder, Florida Keys Water Quality Joint Action Group, an alliance of marine resource user groups and environmentalists concerned with degradation of water quality in Florida Bay and the Florida Keys
  • Member, Technical Advisory Committee for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
  • Consultant to the Science Advisory Board on Bioremediation of Oil Spills, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Participant in several National Academy of Sciences panels
  • Science consultant to the joint American Museum of Natural History/Environmental Defense Fund traveling climate change exhibition
  • Author, Heal the Oceans: Solutions for Saving Our Seas (New Society, 2003)