Vivien Li, Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member and Dan Kennedy, Northeastern University School of Journalism and Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
Story Reed, Permitting and Statistics Program Manager
Description of Fellowship
Rishya worked on the Division’s Port Profile initiative, which summarizes data collected in each port regarding its status and infrastructure. Port Profiles provide an overview of the commercial fishing activity and infrastructure within Massachusetts’ ports, and are part of a larger port report. These profiles fill a data gap within the Division and Massachusetts at large: there exists no concise summary of each port’s value and infrastructure status for local fishing communities and important industry stakeholders. The Port Profiles will be used as a tool to support local fishing communities and preserve the working waterfront, providing these communities with a tool for self-advocacy and lobbying within the industry. Rishya also worked on restructuring the Division’s Revolving Loan Fund, a program aimed at economically supporting small, local groundfishermen operating in sectors. Her research culminated in a proposal to repurpose that will be submitted to the program’s federal partner, NOAA Fisheries, for discussion of and action on its future. The proposal aims to find new, more effective ways to better economically support these groundfishermen. Finally, Rishya worked on a variety of side projects, including (but not limited to) photography campaigns, digital media management and analytics, audience engagement, and field research.