Founding Fellow—F. Heward Bell

Founding Fellow—F. Heward Bell

Founding Fellow—F. Heward Bell

F. Heward Bell was born on July 4, 1902, in Swansea, Wales. He came to Canada as a child, and was raised there. As a young man, he attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and graduated in 1924 with honors in biology. Upon graduation, he was appointed instructor in biology at that university. In 1925, he served as a research assistant for AIRFRB Founding Father F. HEYWARD BELLthe Fisheries Research Board of Canada, tagging salmon off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Later in 1925, he was appointed Associate Scientific Assistant for the International Fisheries Commission, which later became the International Pacific Halibut Commission. On a leave of absence from the Halibut Commission in 1940-1941, he served as Assistant Director of the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission of Canada and the United States. He became Assistant Director of the Halibut Commission in 1943 and remained in that position until he was appointed Director in 1963. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 1970. During his early years with the Halibut Commission, he spent many months at sea on halibut vessels, either chartered or on regular commercial trips. He and another future Founding Fellow of the AIFRB, Richard Van Cleve, almost lost their lives aboard the schooner Scandia when it sank west of Kodiak Island, Alaska, in February1927. Throughout his 43-year career with the Halibut Commission, he knew and worked with many individuals who had been involved in the fisheries for halibut and salmon as early as the late 19th century off the coasts of Alaska, British Columbia, and the contiguous United States. Those relationships, in addition to his early training in biology, were influential in forming his concepts of managing a fishery. He collected voluminous records of fishing effort and catch, which became the basis for several important papers, e.g. IFC Bulletin 6, Biological statistics of the Pacific halibut fishery, by Thompson, Dunlop, and Bell (1931), and IFC Bulletin 8, Biological statistics of the Pacific halibut fishery, by Thompson and Bell (1934) and for the assessment and management of the halibut fishery. (William F. Thompson and Henry A. Dunlop were also future Founding Fellows of the AIFRB.) During the period of 1930 to 1970 he was a Special Lecturer in Fisheries at the University of Washington. He was a Founding Fellow of the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists and a member of other scientific societies. Heward Bell was awarded the 1953 Coronation Medal of Elizabeth Regina II for services rendered to Canada with respect to the Pacific halibut fishery. He was the first person to receive the Golden Halibut Award, presented annually by the Halibut Fishermen’s Wives Association, and was awarded a Golden Halibut by the Halibut Association of North America for services rendered to the industry. He retired in 1970, and after his retirement he wrote an important book, The Pacific Halibut: the Resource and the Fishery; every major fishery deserves a book like this, but few have it. F. Heward Bell died on March 5, 1992, at the age of 89. He was a gentleman and a scholar, and the lives of all who knew him were enriched by the experience. References Anonymous. 2009. Herbert W. Graham [obituary]. Skud, Bernard. 2007. Herbert W. Graham: happy 102nd birthday!!  Personal communications: Teri Frade, Karen Heise-Gentile, Suzan Oliver, Bernard E. Skud. To read about all the Founding Fellows and to see the citations for this article, click on this PDF. 

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