Collaboration - a Critical Element in Good Science
Effective science - good science that everyone can accept - often starts with collaboration. Not just among researchers from different agencies, or businesses expecting to make a profit from the final product. Effective science often involves those on the front lines, who provide information and advice to the scientists in an ever-evolving process. In Project CROOS, the front line has been filled with experienced fishermen who know the territory, are aware of the problems, and have insight into some of the solutions. Working cooperatively with the researchers, the team was able to further define the problems and plot possible solutions, allowing it to grow it into a major project and even create additional value, starting with Pacific FishTrax.
Project CROOS (Collaborative Research on Oregon Ocean Salmon) was an outcome of the genetics research fostered by the Salmon and Marine Ecology Initiative. This Initiative, a partnership between Coastal and Eastern Oregon, has produced new genetic and ecological knowledge for conservation of salmon and and other marine species. It has involved Oregon's fishermen, COMES scientists, the Oregon Salmon Commission, the National Marine Fisheries Service, Oregon Sea Grant, Community Seafood Initiative, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and has spread to a larger West Coast group (the West Coast Salmon-Genetic Stock Analysis).
Without question, Project CROOS' greatest strength has been the collaborative vision developed by individuals with differing skills, backgrounds, and goals.