Henry A. Dunlop, also known as Harry, was born in Dunrea, Manitoba, Canada, on July 8, 1898. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Zoology at the University of British Columbia in 1919 and a Master of Arts degree in Zoology in 1922, under Dr. McLean Fraser, a prominent fishery-oriented marine biologist, at the same university. He continued his graduate studies at the University of Toronto during 1924-1925 and at the University of Washington School of Fisheries between 1931 and 1936.
He joined the staff of the International Fisheries Commission, predecessor of the International Pacific Halibut Commission, in July 1925 as Assistant Director. He held that position until May 1939. He was appointed Acting Director of the Halibut Commission for the period of June 1939 to September 1940, at which time he was appointed Director of Investigations, a position that he held until his retirement in 1963. During his tenure, the rehabilitation of the resources continued, and by the early 1960s they were close to their optimum levels. This was accomplished under adverse and trying circumstances.
Maintaining a research program during World War II was most difficult, with a scientific staff at one time reduced to three persons, including the Director. Also, funds allotted for research and management were steadily eroded by inflation. During the postwar period, prolonged and frustrating effort over a period of seven years were required to secure treaty authority that would permit measures to alleviate the drastic reduction that had occurred during the fishing seasons. During the 1950s, further demands were placed on the staff to “prove in” certain commitments made by Canada and the United States with Japan, culminating in the eastern Bering Sea debacle in 1962, when the two countries abdicated their valid exclusive claims to the halibut stocks in that region. Mr. Dunlop was deeply concerned over the threat that the fishing fleets of Japan and the USSR posed for the Pacific halibut stocks, and he feared for the survival of the halibut fisheries of Canada and the United States.
Harry Dunlop was a member of the American Fisheries Society, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was a charter member of the Pacific Fishery Biologists. In 1953, he received the Elizabeth II Coronation Medal for meritorious public service to Canada. He was also a Founding Fellow of the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists. Early ideas and discussions that led to the formation of the AIFRB took place in the Halibut Commission’s offices. The role of cooperation between the members of the fishing industry and the regulating agency were crucial to the recovery of the halibut resource and in many ways influenced the discussions that led to the formation of the AIFRB.
Harry Dunlop returned to Vancouver when he retired in 1963. He passed away on May 3, 1966, at the age of 68.
Anonymous. 2009. Herbert W. Graham [obituary]. AIFRB Briefs, 38 (1): 5-6.
Skud, Bernard. 2007. Herbert W. Graham: happy 102nd birthday!! AIFRB Briefs, 36 (5): 6-7.
Personal communications: Teri Frade, Karen Heise-Gentile, Suzan Oliver, Bernard E. Skud.