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Molly Ogren

Chief of Program Development

Chair of Seafood Marketing Collaborative

From the largest state to lil’ Rhody, Molly’s fishing adventures are just beginning here in Rhode Island. Born in Juneau, Alaska, Molly Ogren, the new chair of the Seafood Marketing Collaborative, is a fourth-generation commercial fisherman. She was raised in Anchorage and Ninilchik, Alaska and was only nine months old the first time she was on a boat. Molly’s great-grandfather started the family legacy fishing for salmon on a setnet site in the 1930’s, and most of her family thereafter followed suit. Molly grew up fishing throughout her childhood, and worked summers when she turned sixteen. She now plays a different role in the fishing industry. 

Understanding that commercial fishing is a livelihood dependent on the resource, and wanting to keep her family’s legacy alive, Molly shifted her career from fishing to advocating for all parts of the seafood industry. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Nevada, a Juris Doctor of Law from Roger Williams University focusing on Environment Law, and a Master’s in Marine Affairs for fisheries management from the University of Rhode Island.  

Molly got her start in grass root movements and non-profit work, promoting wild salmon fishing in Washington State, and philanthropic giving with the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance. She then transitioned to Rhode Island State Legislature where she worked on agency budgets, including analyzing the RI commercial fishing licensing modernization. Now, Molly has been the Chief of Program Development for Natural Resources at RIDEM for two years. Molly was recently appointed the Chair of the RI Marine Fisheries Council and Chair of the Seafood Marketing Collaborative by DEM Director Terry Gray. This new appointment gives her the prime opportunity to get involved with seafood. Molly says that “all the things she has worked towards have finally come together in these two roles.” As the new Chair, she is excited to strive towards keeping commercial fishing and those who work tirelessly to harvest seafood, relevant and seen. Molly will continue to advocate, promote, and help the hard work of the fishermen shine while showing the importance of supporting local.  

In all of Molly’s achievements so far, she has shown that those who fish, and take part in fisheries, may not always look like your average fishermen but contribute to the commercial fishing industry in various ways. 


Favorite RI Marine Species: Black Sea Bass

Favorite Marine Species: Wild Pacific Caught Sockeye Salmon

Favorite RI Seafood Restaurant: Flo's Clam Shack

Favorite Recipe: Black Seabass Cilantro Lime Fish Tacos



RI SEAFOOD TEAM

Conor McManus Ph.D.

Chief of Marine Fisheries

Conor McManus serves as the Chief for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's Division of Marine Fisheries. The Division serves as the lead agency in the science and management for marine fisheries in the State of Rhode Island. The work conducted by the Division is diverse, from surveying and researching marine resources and habitats to developing science-based local and regional regulations to support sustainable fisheries.

The work of the Division involves collaborating with various external entities, such as industry members, the general public, academia, other government entities, and non-profit organizations. Conor received his BA from Boston University and both his masters and doctorate in Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography. Conor serves on multiple scientific committees for the fisheries Councils and Commission in the region, including the New England Fisheries Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Rhode Island and University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

Jordyn Kastlunger

Fisheries Marketing Specialist

Meet Fisheries Marketing Specialist Jordyn Kastlunger. Jordyn is a critical member of the #RISeafood team who helps drive the seafood marketing campaign – promoting the availability of the Ocean State's abundant, diverse, and delicious supply of fresh seafood! She comes from a third-generation fishing family in San Diego, California, and grew up on fishing boats working as a deckhand for her father. Jordyn graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with a minor in Sustainability. Jordyn spent several years as a seafood liaison with Slow Fish working on community outreach and education on San Diego’s fisheries. She has attended a variety of conferences and meetings both on a national and international level speaking about commercial fishing and sustainability.

Jordyn is a sitting member on the Local Catch Networks Executive Committee, which is a community made up of fishers, organizers, researchers, and consumers across the country that work to provide local, healthy, and low -impact seafood via community supported fisheries (CSFs) and direct marketing to support fisheries and the communities that depend on them. Jordyn’s favorite part of working in fisheries is the days she spends on the water, whether she is fishing or just observing . Since joining the RI Seafood team, Jordyn has had the opportunity to expand her knowledge of fisheries and taste the freshness of Rhode Island’s diverse seafood! Her favorites include oysters, clams, and black sea bass!   

Evan LaCross

Social Media Manager, Administrative Officer

Evan LaCross works as an Administrative Officer at Rhode Island DEM’s Public Affairs Office, managing DEM's social media channels and supporting the RI Seafood Marketing Collaborative’s marketing campaign. Evan graduated with a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Rhode Island College in 2018 and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Rhode Island in 2021. Evan enjoys learning about the diversity of the Ocean State’s abundant seafood – both the science of fisheries management and the variety of delicious local seafood dishes!  

Emily Lynch

Chief Program Development, Digital Content & Social Media Strategy

Emily Lynch works in the Public Affairs Office for the RI Department of Environmental Management. She has been a part of DEM's core SMC team since 2017 helping to design campaigns to support Quahog Week and maintaining the RI Seafood website. A lifelong Rhode Islander, she is proud to help build awareness of the Agency's mission to connect people with our state's precious natural resources and our vibrant commercial fishing industry. She can be found introducing her little ones to the trails of Arcadia or shopping for fresh lobsters from the docks of Galilee.

Daniel Costa

Port Manager

The largest commercial fishing port in the state of Rhode Island, Galilee is the heart of Rhode Island Seafood, and home to the Division of Coastal Resources. A Rhode Island native, Daniel has strived to create a business friendly environment in the ten years that he has held his position as Port Manager. Daniel graduated from URI with a degree in Biology, and went on to work in Marine Fisheries processing stock assessments, data reporting, and acting as a representative for the Atlantic Coast Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) before making the transition to The Department of Environmental Management (DEM). Daniel's primary task and mission is to support charter and commercial fishermen in Rhode Island.

He manages over 270 berthing positions and 27 distinct and individual land leases, all working towards the goal of growing RI Seafood capacity. The Division of Coastal Resources provides essential access and support to landside infrastructure, as well as administrative and licensing support to commercial fishermen.

GEAR TYPES

LOBSTER TRAPS/POTS

If you have visited any of the Ocean State’s coastal communities, like Point Judith or Newport, you have most likely seen commercial lobster traps. The American lobster is available year-round, with peak harvesting usually occurring from May to November. While each fisher often brings their own style to their lobster pots, they all practically operate in the same way. Lobster traps are designed to lie on the ocean bottom, each containing a funnel that the lobster must crawl through to enter into the trap, and escape vents to allow undersized lobsters and non-target species to get out. When fishing nearshore, traps are usually set individually and identified by a buoy at the surface. When fishing farther offshore in deeper waters, they are often set in fifteen to thirty pot strings called trawls with a buoy on either end identifying where the trawl is on the ocean floor. Research efforts in Rhode Island include monitoring both the juvenile and adult segments of the population, surface and bottom temperatures, and experimenting with ropeless gear to reduce protected species interactions. These data support the health of one the State’s most valuable natural resources.

NETS

Gill-net fishing can be used to harvest different species in the Ocean State including skate, flounder, monkfish, bluefish and dogfish. A gill-net is a wall of netting, typically made of monofilament or multifilament nylon and usually anchored to the ocean bottom. To avoid gear conflicts and reduce the incidental capture of non-target species, gill nets are subject to strict controls pertaining to size and spacing, tending, marking, closed areas, and the required use of breakaway panels.

RAKE

Bull rakes are used to harvest clams. These tools are large metal rakes consisting of telescopic aluminum poles with a toothed basket attached to the end. The teeth work to coax the clams out of the sea floor and hold them in the basket as it is pulled back to the surface. A rake is pulled with both hands and is hauled upwards by hand or with the assistance of a pot hauler. There are various methods that can be used to harvest clams. Other methods include diving and shore digging. The different sized clams can be used for stuffies, chowder, pastas, and more!

MONKFISH MARKETING SURVEY

Cornell University is conducting a survey to gauge the Monkfish fisheries. Below are surveys for fishermen, dealers, consumers, and retailers. The objective of the program is to promote monkfish as a seafood choice and bolster it to become a more common sight in restaurants, markets, and dinner plates! The project will run until September 2024.


FISHERMEN

RETAIL

CONSUMER

DEALER/PROCESSOR

PRESS INITIATIVE


PRESS is a new initiative at the University of Rhode Island that provides nimble and rapid funding to address ongoing issues and unexpected challenges facing our Rhode Island fisheries, aquaculture, and seafood sector. PRESS was established though NOAA with funding ($1.0 million over 4 years) secured by Senator Jack Reed and led by Marta Gomez-Chiarri, professor of fisheries and aquaculture at URI. Funds will be administered through Rhode Island Sea Grant.



Learn More

What to expect in 2023


  • Monthly projections of species
  • Dock Days
  • Seafood Dinners
  • Seafood finder map with listed participants
  • Fishline App
  • Recipes
  • Highlights, profiles & more

Upcoming events



Jan.18: 2023 Rhode Island Food System Summit Registration

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Jan. 31: Marine Fisheries Regulatory Workshop. 5 PM @ URI Bay Campus Corless Room


Jan.31: Extended renewal period of commercial fishing licenses

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Feb. 6: Marine Fisheries Regulatory Workshop. 5 PM @ URI Bay Campus Corless Room


May 8: Seafood Showcase- American Culinary Federation. 6-9 PM @ Narragansett Brewery


May 13-21: Newport Ocean Race

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May 20-21: Newport Oyster and Chowder Festival

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JORDYN KASTLUNGER

Fisheries Marketing Specialist

C: (619) 278-8275

Jordyn.Kastlunger.ctr@dem.ri.gov

 

RI Seafood Marketing Collaborative Website

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