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Saturday, January 27, 2001

John Bardach

"Not only was he a world expert in aquaculture,
he was a world expert in several other
fields that weren't even related."

John Bardach, father
of isle aquaculture,
dies at 85

The marine scientist and author
was also a leader in global


By Helen Altonn

Dr. John E. Bardach, 85, internationally renowned marine scientist, father of aquaculture in Hawaii and a leader in global aquaculture development, died Wednesday.

"He was a giant in the industry and he wrote the textbook that is considered the bible of aquaculturists throughout the world," said C. Richard Fassler, state economic development specialist.

The Austrian-born scientist was a University of Michigan professor for 17 years before joining the University of Hawaii as Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology director in 1971. He served in that post until 1977.

He became an East-West Center research associate in 1978, working in the Resource Systems Institute, serving as acting institute director, senior adviser to the center president and consultant on marine affairs.

In 1990-1992 he was interim director of the center's Environment and Policy Institute.

In 1993, he was named as the center's first Emeritus Senior Fellow in recognition of his international reputation and activities in his field.

"You can't overestimate his contribution to aquaculture," said E. Gordon Grau, Hawaii Sea Grant Program director and former Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology director.

John Corbin, aquaculture manager in the state Department of Agriculture who was a student at Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology when Bardach was director, said, "He was an inspiration in terms of aquaculture and the potential, not only for Hawaii but for the world.

"But the amazing thing about John, not only was he a world expert in aquaculture, he was a world expert in several other fields that weren't even related -- chemical sensing physiology and resource geography."

Bardach's interests ranged from sea to land, including Asian art and symphony music.

"He spoke quite a few languages and always had a twinkle in his eye," said Fassler. "He had a wonderful sense of humor."

He had appointments in the UH-Manoa geography and oceanography departments and was named the Spark Matsunaga Fellow in Living Marine Resources by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute. He chaired the Pacific Science Association's task force on global environmental change and represented the U.S. National Academy of Sciences on the Council of the Pacific Science Association.

He was a prolific author of articles and books on fisheries and aquaculture, marine resource management, global climate changes and other issues. His books included the text, "Aquaculture: The Farming and Husbandry of Freshwater and Marine Organisms," the award-winning "Harvest of the Sea," and the first book on "Sustainable Aquaculture."

He received a lifetime achievement award in 1998 from the Hawaii Aquaculture Association.

Bardach is survived by his sister, Helena Ripper, and nephew, Peter Ripper.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Borthwick Mortuary.

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