Mar 22 2011
Matweyou Fills Marine Advisory Agent Post
Tuesday, 22 March 2011

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New Kodiak Marine Advisory Program Agent Julie Matweyou black cod fishing on F/V Lindsey Marie, Aleutian Islands. Photo Alaska Sea Grant Program


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            For those looking for answers to scientific questions about the ocean and fisheries, there's a new go-to person in Kodiak. That would be Julie Matweyou (mat-weh-you) the new Marine Advisory Program agent assigned to Kodiak. 

            Based at the Fish Tech on Near Island, Matweyou's position fills a 15-year absence thanks to a $300,000 grant from the state legislature authorized last year that went toward filling vacant positions in Kodiak and Nome.

            A former fisherman herself, Matweyou says her goal is to help broaden the understanding of the ocean for people of all ages.

-- MAP agent 2          :14       "I anticipate ... working with kids."

            Matweyou earned her Master's degree in biological oceanography from the UAF's School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. She's researched methods for detecting paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, which has made several species of shellfish traditionally eaten as a subsistence food dangerous to eat.

            She points to King Cove as one community that has a volunteer-led monitoring program in place.  But it's a sensitive subject. The state doesn't have the resources to monitor beaches for so-called red tide and, she says, no amount of monitoring can make the shellfish totally safe.

-- MAP agent 3          :26       "People are eating ... use the information incorrectly."

            The type of programs she'll be coordinating hasn't been finalized yet. But with her background in studying PSP, she says she'd like to coordinate a shellfish monitoring program for Kodiak Island if there is interest in the communities.

            Julie Matweyou can be reached at 486-1514.