Dr. George Yost Harry, 1919-2015

It is with regret that we write of the passing of Dr. George Yost Harry, who was a central figure in the early days of West Coast groundfish research.  Dr. Harry was one of the first employees the Oregon Fish Commission sent to Astoria, to study the growing groundfish fishery started by trawlers like George Moskovita. Dr. Harry was 96.

Dr. George Yost Harry

Dr. George Yost Harry

Here is a bit of information that he wrote about his career:

After four years in the navy during WWII, I enrolled at the University of Washington and after completing course work took a position as marine biologist with the Oregon fish commission. Oregon was just starting a research program after the war. I was stationed in Astoria and Jergen (Westrheim) was one of the first to be added to the staff. The program was gradually expanded to include biologists doing research on tuna and most other commercial fish and shellfish.   Ed Holmberg, mentioned in one of the reports was in charge of tuna studies in California and was one of those added to the staff.

Fred Cleaver was appointed Assistant Director of the Fish Commission and in 1954 asked me to transfer to Portland as director of all research and management studies. I was in Portland from 1954 to 1958. In 1958 a major new federal research laboratory was being constructed in Juneau, Alaska and I was asked to become the first director. At this time the king crab fishery was developing in Alaska and Russia was able to take part in the fishery because the 200 mile limit was not yet in effect. I had the interesting experience of visiting Russia several times to develop research and management plans for the fishery.

In 1967 it seemed time to move from Alaska. The position as director of the Great Lakes Fishery Laboratory became vacant and I was appointed director of the lab in Ann Arbor Michigan, where I had received a Master’s degree in 1941.

In 1970 the National Marine Fisheries Commission, then Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, closed down the regional office in Ann Arbor and also the research operation.   Fortunately for me the director of the NMFShttps://carmelfinley.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/george-yost-harry-and-the-study-of-oregon-marine-fish/ Marine Mammal Lab retired at that time and I moved from Michigan to Seattle. Back to the West Coast where I belonged. Part of my work took me back to Alaska and especially to the Pribilov Islands in the summer for fur seal studies. This position also returned me several times to Russia to coordinate research with the Russians.


About finleyc

I'm a writer and a historian of science. I'm interested in the intersection of science and policy in the oceans, and especially around fishing.
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