Chris McGuire is the Ocean Program Director for The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts. He shapes marine priorities at the state level while harnessing the Conservancy's global experience and scientific expertise to develop innovative conservation solutions. Chris is focused on conserving Massachusetts' critical marine and coastal systems by developing market incentives to encourage more sustainable fishing through partnerships with commercial fishermen; advancing conservation positive ocean planning efforts; and using natural solutions to reduce the risks of climate change.
Chris leads monitoring projects in the New England groundfish fishery, and has been the principal investigator on collaborative research projects focused on iconic New England species like Atlantic cod and halibut. Chris serves on state, regional and federal advisory committees and working groups, and regularly presents his work at national and international workshops and conferences. In fall 2023, he was elected Chair of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.
As a child, he spent many rainy childhood days at the Nantucket Whaling Museum, learning about the industry that led to one of the first species population crashes due to overfishing. Now Chris is working with New England fishermen and innovative technology to help return fish stocks to sustainable levels.
Before joining the Conservancy in 2011 he was a faculty member and Captain aboard oceanographic research vessels at Sea Education Association for more than a decade. Chris has a B.A. from Connecticut College, holds a 1600 Ton USCG Ocean Master’s License, and earned a Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island.
When not pursuing marine conservation initiatives Chris can often be found out on the waters around Woods Hole or working on home improvement projects with his kids.
Sustainable Fisheries Research
Read Chris McGuire's recent published papers and research.
Evaluating growth dimorphism, maturation, and skip spawning of halibut
Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science | Oct 17, 2022
To better evaluate whether Atlantic halibut populations are rebuilding, researchers worked with fishermen to sample over 200 fish, determining that halibut may not reach full maturity until they are older and larger than was previously thought. Read More About This Collaborative Research
Spatial Ecology of the Atlantic Halibut across the Northwest Atlantic
Fisheries Science & Aquaculture | Jul 22, 2021
Halibut are a recovering species in an era of climate change. The spatial ecology of Atlantic halibut, managed as four stocks in the Northwest Atlantic, is reviewed in this research. Read More
Movements of Atlantic halibut in the Gulf of Maine based on geolocation
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Sep 17, 2019
Atlantic halibut are a “Species of Concern” in U.S. waters and little is known about their movements and stock structure. Research into these aspects of their population is critical information for assessing and managing this stock. Read More
Identifying the distribution of Atlantic cod spawning
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Apr 21, 2019
Effective fishery management requires reliable information on fish spawning. In order to rebuild the Gulf of Maine stock of Atlantic cod, studies like this aim to identify the spatial and temporal distribution of cod spawning in Massachusetts Bay. Read More