I have been working to reduce whale entanglements in fishing gear, lost or active, for over six years. I published a technical memorandum, with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) West Coast Regional Office, summarizing fixed gear commercial fishery effort and the co-occurrence with large whales off the U.S. West Coast (Saez et al., 2013). I also published a Fixed Gear Guide which characterizes commercial fixed gear fisheries off California, Oregon, and Washington using photos, maps, and written descriptions to assist entanglement responder, managers, and other groups in identifying gear.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from Michigan State University and a Master of Environmental Science and Management degree from the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. My master's project focused on the sustainability of the southern California spiny lobster fishery.
On a personal note, I enjoy spending time with my family: husband, two children, and a golden retriever (Jeb, Wyatt, Jasmine, and Winnie)! We spend our free time camping, kayaking, and playing field hockey.
I am excited to be a member of the Board of Advisors for Ocean Defenders Alliance (ODA) in support of lost gear recovery. Less gear in the water leads to reduced entanglement risk for many ocean animals. The impact of lost gear on large whales is still unknown, but ODA shows regularly the impact of lost gear on species such as dolphins, pinnipeds, sea birds, fish, and crustaceans.
If you agree with Lauren, we would love to have your support.