Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Remembering Carl Lian

Contributed by Jerry Leonard January, 2017

Our colleague Carl Lian passed away on December 27, 2016. Carl had many achievements as a long-time member of the NWFSC’s Economics and Social Science Research Team. His work on the likely effects of the groundfish catch share program was both instrumental to its implementation and was celebrated by other economists, winning the article of the year award in the journal Marine Resource Economics.

Carl also excelled in the role of mentor. He always had an enthusiastic willingness to share his deep understanding of fisheries with anyone who would listen. Perhaps none of his accomplishments were greater than the cost earnings surveys that he designed and carried out from 2004 until today. Despite the opinions of many that he’d never get vessel owners to voluntarily give out financial information for their businesses, he did, over and over and over. In the most recent one he completed for the limited entry fixed gear fleet, he achieved an astounding 79% response rate. Carl is a primary reason that the NWFSC and fishery managers on the West Coast have a tremendous wealth of fisheries economic data.

On a personal note, having shared an office with him for eight years, I could go on and on about Carl: what he loved, what he hated, his favorite foods, his favorite places, and his love of jazz. The thing I’ll remember most about Carl was his incredible toughness. Despite all of his hardships, Carl always kept his head up and remained optimistic about the future. Toughness is not just one’s ability to tolerate the terrible, it’s also about attitude. It’s not just facing an obstacle that defeated you the day before; it’s facing the obstacle with a confident resolve that the previous result was just the beginning.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Carl’s family and friends. He will be greatly missed.