JAMES JOSEPH
JOSEPH, JAMES 1930 to 2009 Dr. James Joseph , Director of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) from 1969 to 1999, died suddenly on December 16, 2009. He was born in Los Angeles in 1930, the youngest of Paul and Julia Joseph's 13 children. After graduating from high school, he entered Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, where he obtained a B.S. degree in 1956 and an M.S. degree in 1958. He also served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954. He was hired by the IATTC in 1958, and spent the next two years in Manta, Ecuador, studying baitfishes and tagging tunas. Because of his obvious ability, he was named Principal Scientist of the IATTC in 1964. In 1967, he earned his PhD from the University of Washington, where he studied population dynamics, and in 1969, he became the Director of the IATTC, a post he held until his retirement in 1999. In 1958, he married Patricia Duffy, of Eureka, California, his life's sheet anchor; they had two sons, Jerry and Michael. For Dr. Joseph, fisheries conservation was not just a job, but a calling. His professional life was dedicated to the study, management, and conservation of marine resources, particularly the tuna stocks of the eastern Pacific Ocean. His tenure as Director of the IATTC was marked by great changes and upheavals in the fisheries for tuna, and his vision and leadership were a crucial factor in resolving the often contentious differences that arose among the countries, industries, and people involved. He commanded the highest respect and admiration for his extensive knowledge of all matters related to fisheries, his dedication, his fairness, and his extraordinary ability to get things done. He had the gift of finding the common ground among conflicting parties, and of bringing about consensus where none seemed possible. His reputation for unimpeachable probity made him perhaps the most widely respected and admired figure in international fisheries management. His uncanny knack for making everybody feel that they mattered, his ability to get along with a wide variety of people of every social, cultural, and national background, and his unique perspective on many matters may have reflected his eclectic background: his Lebanese ancestry, his upbringing in east Los Angeles, his experiences living abroad, and his constant and extensive travels all over the world. Jim thought, rightly, that in the complex world of fisheries conservation and management, in which many different parties - governments, fishers, processors, environmentalists, scientists - have an interest, no lasting solution was possible unless all parties were involved. Examples abound, but perhaps the most striking is the 1999 Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program, Jim's swansong at the IATTC. This groundbreaking achievement, a model for all other fisheries conservation agreements, would have been impossible without his leadership, and is a testament to his vision, his persistence, and his constant conviction that doing the right thing in the right way is worth whatever effort it takes. Although the protection of dolphins was a major concern for the IATTC, Jim never lost sight of its principal responsibility, the study and conservation of tunas. During his tenure, the IATTC staff pioneered methods for stock assessment of tunas - the population dynamics of yellowfin tuna in the eastern Pacific are probably better understood than those of any other tuna stock in the world - and the IATTC's Achotines Laboratory in Panama was established, and became a world leader in research into the biology of tunas. Dr. Joseph served on numerous advisory groups dealing with marine science and conservation, in the United States and elsewhere, including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Department of Commerce, and Department of the Interior, the United Nations, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. He also served as a technical advisor to many organizations and institutions, national and international. He lectured widely at conventions, universities , and institutions all over the world, published numerous papers and articles in scholarly and trade journals, and co-authored three books. After his retirement in 1999, Dr. Joseph, with an energy and enthusiasm that would be the envy of people half his age, continued to serve as advisor and consultant to governments, international organizations, and private and public institutions. At the time of his death, he was Chairman of the Science Committee of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, an organization which he was instrumental in establishing and which reflected his approach of bringing all parties together to resolve the problems of marine resource conservation. Dr. Joseph was an affiliate professor at the University of Washington and at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. His many awards and honors include the Distinguished Alumnus Award, Humboldt State University; Outstanding Achievement Award for Contributions to Marine Science, Portuguese Historical Society, San Diego; Outstanding Graduate in Fisheries, Humboldt State University; Nautilus Award, Marine Technological Society; Dave Wallace Award, Nautilus Press, Inc.; Docteur Honoris Causa, Universite de Bretagne, France; Roger Revelle Award, San Diego Oceans Foundation; Al Merito Pesquero Award, Ministry of Commerce of Ecuador; Condecoracion del Orden Antonio Jose de Sucre, Government of Venezuela. In addition, the IATTC received the Carl L. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award of the American Fisheries Society in 1994. Jim's work left him less time than he would have liked for other activities, but he would always make time for his two abiding passions: first and foremost, his family - he was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather - and the outdoors, where his adventures would often make for great stories afterwards. He is survived by his wife, Pat, sons Jerry and Michael, daughters-in-law Teri and Miranda, grandchildren, Thai, Chae, Judah, Kyra , and Brian; his brothers John, Paul, and Raymond; his sisters Anne, Maxine, and Virginia; and by friends without number all over the world. Jim was an inspiration to everyone who knew him, and his passing is a tremendous loss not only to his family and his myriad of friends and colleagues, but to fisheries science and conservation. "He was a man, take him for all in all, We shall not look upon his like again." In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the James Joseph Scholarship Endowment at Humboldt State University, Gift Processing Center, 1 Harpst Street, Arcata, CA 95521-8299.

Published by San Diego Union-Tribune on Dec. 22, 2009.
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15 Entries
Family and Friends of Dr. Joseph,
I join with so many others who knew him in offering our deepest sympathy on his passing. Although it is little consolation at this sad time, it should be of some satisfaction to know that in his passing you can celebrate the end of a very long and productive life.
He will be always remembered in México as a very good friend, like in many other countries, we hope you may find peace and comfort in knowing that his loss is felt by all who knew and loved him.
Armando Diaz
January 7, 2010
I remember James and his wife Pat as a charming couple when they visited Gdynia, Poland in the 90's. Later on James invited me to visit I-ATTC in La Jolla, which helped me very much in preparation of my PhD thesis. He was a great manager and scientist with very kind personality. My deepest condolences to his wife and the rest of family.

Wojciech Pelczarski, Gdynia, Poland
January 4, 2010
I have been a benficiary of Dr. Joseph's literature in my young academic life on the study of tunas..still writing my PhD thesis. His knowledge and wisdom has enriched me..May his sould rest in eternal peace. I pray for peace for his family and all who knew him...I believe He lived!!!
Jane Mbendo
January 1, 2010
We wish to express our sincere condolences for the sad loss of our friend and colleague Dr. James Joseph. We knew Jim in many contexts: Some of us from our work together in the international fisheries management arenas; some from many years of participation in the annual Tuna Conference at Lake Arrowhead; some from scientific collaborations with the IATTC; and some from time spent working together in La Jolla.

Jim was helpful to so many scientists in developing our careers studying tuna, the “fish without a country.” He was a friendly and kind man, ever open to opportunities for collaboration, and an important mentor for many of us in NOAA and our friends at IATTC. He had a great sense for what was important about the tropical oceans and the fisheries, and about how to bring many nations together to achieve progress. He had the vision, in the mid-1980’s, to bring experts on tuna together to anticipate the research and management agendas for the remainder of the century. We will miss his penetrating insights on our work, his instigations, his genius for bringing together people of many different backgrounds and interests, and his gracious spirit for cheering and inspiring his fellow-travelers.

Our best wishes to his family. -- NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
Samuel Pooley
December 29, 2009
Dear Pat.
I worked with and for Jim at IATTC for many years in the 60s. I'll always remember his warm smile, his friendly manner and gracious ways.
I'm so sorry you lost such a treasure. May you have strength on your road to healing and be blessed with wonderful memories.
Ginny Psaropulos Wells
December 27, 2009
My deepest sympathy to the family. Jimmy, as I knew him, at Garfield
High School was a good friend of my brother Pete. I went to school with his sister Maxine. We have followed Jim's career and admired and respected what he accomplished with his life.

Helen Parkovich Noon
Helen Noon
December 26, 2009
December 24, 2009

I have always admired my Uncle Jim and now I realize how many others admired him too. God bless you Uncle Jim. You have been an amzing man who left a wonderful legacy.
DeeDee
December 24, 2009
I will carry forward our friendship and and respect - sail on, JJ!
Robert Owen
December 24, 2009
This industry has lost one of its giants, a man trusted, honored, and respected by all who knew him from every facet; scientific, commercial processor, fisherman, and environmental. Jim was a man I was proud to know and with whom I had the pleasure of working. He will truly be missed. His legacy will always be one of truth and science without agenda.
Jose Munoz
December 23, 2009
Rest in peace my friend. It was a ptivilege to know and work under his direction. Juan Gracia ( Mayaguez, PR.)
Juan Gracia
December 22, 2009
"All our love to Pat, Jerry and Michael, Teri, Miranda, grandchildren, Thai, Chae, Judah, Kyra , Brian, sisters Anne, Maxine, and Virginia, brothers John, Paul, and Raymond."
Tweet & Bill Bowden (Carlsbad, CA)
Nathan Joseph and Family (Oceanside, CA)
December 22, 2009
It was a privilege for me to have met Jim Joseph.
Gustavo G. R. Kuster, M.D., La Jolla, CA
December 22, 2009
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Arnold Fernandes
December 22, 2009
To a life well-lived and to my aspiration to know even a fraction of it.

May you and your family be forever blessed.
Mike Crispino
December 22, 2009
Rest in Peace my friend. You leave in all our hearts a legacy we will carry with us always. Your family will remain in our prayers.
Mark Robertson
December 22, 2009
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