The other Doc—J.B. Phillips and the California Department of Fish and Game

Tim Thomas
Maritime Museum of Monterey

Wednesday, September 27, 2000
3:00 p.m.—Pacific Forum

J.B. Phillips (on the left) tagging sardines in Monterey Bay 1936

In the summer of 1928, Julius B. Phillips, a young biologist, fresh out of the University of Washington School of Fisheries, was summoned to Monterey to begin work on his new job with the California Department of Fish and Game. The letter stated that the sardine canneries would be opening soon and his presence was needed. Thus began a remarkable 40-year career that ended upon his retirement in 1968. During his tenure, he authored or co-authored over 75 scientific publications. He made significant contributions to our knowledge of numerous marine species, including sardines, anchovies, lingcod, rockfishes, sablefish and dungeness crabs.

Throughout the years "Doc" Phillips made friends and earned the respect of many of the Monterey fishermen. Very few biologists had the degree of respect given to him. With the mind of a scientist and the eye of an artist, he often accompanied them on their boats so he could accurately record and photograph their activities. Julius Phillips was the consummate marine biologist.

Though he passed away in 1995, the pioneering work of J.B. Phillips helped pave the way for the conservation efforts that resulted in the Monterey Bay Sanctuary of today.