Jay Burnett

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

Jay Burnett was born in 1948 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Boston University, and his bachelor’s degree in Fisheries as well as his master’s degree at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He spent his career in the Age and Growth Unit, ten years as the head. He participated in many survey cruises throughout the years. Mr. Burnett retired from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in 2010.

Interview contains discussion of: aging fish, how fishermen reported catches, port agents, Fisheries Management Councils attitudes towards rules, fishery observer surveys, process of sampling fish, NOAA survey vessels, effect of technology on surveys, bottom trawl survey, Fisheries Ship Computing System, challenges during research survey cruises, process of aging a fish with otoliths, ensuring quality of age readings, Retrospective Pattern, image analysis in fish aging, the Cottage at Woods Hole.

In this interview, Jay Burnett provides a detailed description of his work the Age and Growth Unit at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. He discusses the challenges facing scientists at the center and how he overcame these, as well as his hopes for the future of the Age and Growth Unit.

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