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Dedicated Vessel Research Program Records, 1972-1980Add to your cart. | Special Collections & University Archives

Title: Dedicated Vessel Research Program Records, 1972-1980Add to your cart.
ID: MS-0101
Extent: 9.01 Linear Feet
Predominant Dates: 1976-1980
expand icon Historical Note

San Diego, a geographical hot-spot for tuna fishing, was known as the Tuna Capital of the World from the early 1930s to the late 1970s.  Since tuna often associate with porpoise in their native habitats, fisherman typically set nets around visible herds of porpoise to catch tuna. This type of fishing for tuna is known as purse seining, or "net fishing", and has led to the killing of many porpoises. Purse seines, first used in Southern California in 1916, are used to catch many different species of fish. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, as foreign competition out-caught American tuna fishermen, the U.S. bait-boat fleet slowly switched to purse seine gear to increase the number of tuna captured.

The Dedicated Vessel Research Program (DVRP) studied the relationships between the porpoise and tuna.  The Marine Mammal Commission (MMC), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and the United States Tuna Foundation (USTF) established the DVRP in 1977. The program studied the behaviors and relationship of tuna and porpoise, as well as the impact of tuna fishing on the porpoise population. The DVRP also sought to develop fishing equipment and procedures to minimize injury to and death rates of porpoises. The program did its research in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. The DVRP began research on board the M/V Queen Mary in January of 1978 and concluded in December of 1978 with its fifth and final cruise.

San Diego's tuna industry closed in the early 1980s because of over-regulation, rising costs, and  environmental pressure. By 1989 more than seventy nations participated in fishing tuna.  Ten of these nations, including Japan, the United States, Spain, and South Korea, accounted for almost 85% of the international catch.  Japan and America caught 41% of the world's tuna.

Author: Micah Klausman  (Intern)
expand icon Arrangement

I. Background materials, 1972-1980

II. Cruise Files, 1978

     1. Cruise I, January – March 1978

     2. Cruise II, April – June 1978

     3. Cruise III, Legs 1 and 2, June – July 1978

     4. Cruise IV, September – October 1978

     5. Cruise V, November – December 1978

III. Statements and Stocks of Porpoises (SOPs), 1976 – 1980

IV. Correspondence and Reports, 1976 – 1980

V. Media, 1978

     1. Photographic Slides, 1978

     2. Video, 1978

expand icon Administrative Information
Restrictions: This collection is open for research.
Rights: The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish.  Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Dedicated Vessek Research Program Record, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.
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