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Position: Principal Scientist (Data Science)​
Department: Science & Standards 
Division: Science & Research


Research interests

Fisheries science, marine conservation, design of management systems, population dynamics, juvenile fish life-history strategies, migration ecology, mark-recapture modelling, quantitative ecology, and climate change impacts on fisheries​. 

Michael on ResearchGate

Michael Melnychuk is tasked with quantifying MSC program impacts and evaluating interrelationships between fisheries management, certification, and the sustainability status of marine populations.

This has involved stock status comparisons between stocks fished by and not fished by MSC fisheries, identifying factors associated with fisheries withdrawing from the MSC program, and comparing voluntary measures like MSC certification with government-mandated management measures in terms of how they each affect trends in stock status.

Previously, Michael worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington, where his research focused on identifying management strategies and tactics that lead to successful conservation outcomes for marine populations and positive socioeconomic outcomes for the fisheries they support. 

His doctoral research at the University of British Columbia focused on quantifying mortality patterns of juvenile migrating salmon with acoustic telemetry and mark-recapture models.

Ph.D. University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre (now the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries) and the Department of Zoology.  

Thesis - Mortality of migrating Pacific salmon smolts in southern British Columbia, Canada. 

Recent research


Testing the sensitivity of fishery assessment scores to changes in the MSC Fisheries Standard requirements

Mar 2024 ˑ Marine Policy 161 

DOI : 10.1016/j.marpol.2024.106005

Lauren M. Koerner, Michael C. Melnychuk, Ernesto Jardim 

Drivers of success, speed and performance in fisheries moving towards Marine Stewardship Council certification  

Dec 2023 ˑ Fish and Fisheries 

DOI: 10.1111/faf.12805

Jennifer Rasal, Michael Melnychuk, Amanda Lejbowicz, Carlos Montero-Castaño, Sophie Ferber, Catherine Longo

Quota use in mixed-stock fisheries 

Nov 2023  

DOI: 10.1111/faf.12806 

William A. Karp, Michael C. Melnychuk, Robyn E. Forrest, Lorne Richard Little, Kristin McQuaw, Chad Demarest, Ray Hilborn, Nicole Baker, Brian Mose, Bruce Turris, Ernesto Penas Lado

Corrected numbers and assumptions for understanding MSC certified fishery withdrawals: Commentary on Pierucci et al.  

June 2023 ˑ Marine Policy 155  

DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2023.105683  

Samantha Lees, Catherine Longo, Michael Melnychuk, Polly Burns, Beth Polidoro 

Characterizing state-managed and unmanaged fisheries in coastal marine states and territories of the United States

May 2023 ˑ Fish and Fisheries 24(5) 

DOI: 10.1111/faf.12756 

Michael C. Melnychuk, Charmane E. Ashbrook, Richard J. Bell, Lyall Bellquist, Kate Kauer, Jono R. Wilson, Ray Hilborn, Jay Odell
Production and environmental interactions of small-scale fisheries 

Mar 2023ˑ FAO, WorldFish & Duke University 2023 

In book: Illuminating Hidden Harvests – The contributions of small-scale fisheries to sustainable development

DOI: 10.4060/cc4576en

Meet more of the team