David Pierce

David Pierce Image
Location of Interview
Collection Name

Voices from the Science Centers


Voices from the Science Centers is an oral history initiative dedicated to documenting the institutional knowledge of fisheries scientists and administrators in the labs of NOAA’s Fisheries Science Centers.

Collection doi
Date of Interview
Biographical Sketch

David Pierce was born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Being from New Bedford, he had an interest in the ocean and the fisheries from a young age. He received his bachelors from SMU (Southeastern Massachusetts University) now University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He also received his Master's in Marine Biology from SMU in 1982. He received his PhD from University of Massachusetts Boston in 1996. He began working for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries in 1972. Early in his career, he had a strong interest in fish contamination issues and seafood advisories and studied mostly winter flounder as a fisheries biologist scientist. Currently he is a professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) working with graduate students. He served as Deputy Director of Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries for 10 years before being appointed Director.

Interview contains discussions of: winter flounder, scup, fluke, sea bass, climate change, recreational versus commercial fishing, Gulf of Maine Cod, Georges Bank, bottom trawl surveys, modeling, stock assessments, surveys, cod, haddock, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, New England Fisheries Management Council, regulations within the fishing industry, abundance, biodiversity, management.

David Pierce discusses his career with Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. He describes the need for accurate science and cooperative research between the federal and state scientists as well as the commercial fishing and recreational fishing industries.

Please Note: The oral histories in this collection are protected by copyright and have been created for educational, research and personal use as described by the Fair Use Doctrine in the U.S. Copyright law. Please reach out  Voices@noaa.gov to let us know how these interviews are being used in your research, project, exhibit, etc.  The Voices staff can help provide other useful resources related to your inquiry. 

The NOAA mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. The Voices Oral History Archives offers public access to a wide range of accounts, including historical materials that are products of their particular times, and may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes.

Voices Oral History Archives does not verify the accuracy of materials submitted to us. The opinions expressed in the interviews are those of the interviewee only. The interviews here have been made available to the public only after the interviewer has confirmed that they have obtained consent.