Yesterday, member states of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission acknowledged the many accomplishments of outgoing Chair Paul J. Diodati of Massachusetts and elected Dr. Louis B. Daniel of North Carolina as the new Chair of the Commission.

In assuming the chairmanship, Dr. Daniel spoke enthusiastically about his new position, “I am honored to be elected and look forward to working with my colleagues from the 15 Atlantic coast states, federal marine fishery management agencies, the Potomac River Fisheries Commission, and the District of Columbia to ensure the continued conservation and management of Atlantic coast marine fishery resources.”

“Through the selection of a new Executive Director and 5-Year Strategic Plan, Paul has positioned the Commission for continued success long after his tenure as Chair is through,” stated Dr. Daniel. “Paul spearheaded the charge to reinforce the role of Commissioners in providing direction and guidance on policies, priorities, and strategic planning. Under his leadership, the Commission initiated rebuilding programs for Southern New England lobster, American eel, and tautog, and implemented new management programs for Atlantic menhaden, black drum, and a suite of south Atlantic species. He also led the Commission through the successful completion of two benchmark stock assessments for American eel and Atlantic striped bass.”

“Paul further strengthened our relationship with our sister Interstate Commissions, forming an even greater collective of the coastal states to address issues of mutual concern. He’s reenergized the Commission’s legislative agenda and strengthened our financial footing and long-term federal support through improved relationships with members of Congress and by positioning the Commission as respected source of information to Congress and the Administration. Paul has also helped to improve coordination and information sharing between the states and our federal partners, particularly on potential Endangered Species Act listings.”

As an ASMFC Commissioner since 2007, Dr. Daniel has been an invaluable asset and highly respected among his peers. He has chaired numerous species management boards. Most notably he chaired the Commission’s Atlantic Menhaden Board, where he guided Commissioners through the development, approval, and implementation of a new management regime for Atlantic menhaden, one which recognizes the ecological role of Atlantic menhaden as an important prey/forage species. He also served as Chair and Vice Chair of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. He won the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Distinguished Service Award and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Outstanding Service Award.

Dr. Louis Daniel received a B.A. in Biology from Wake Forest University, a M.S. in Marine Science from the College of Charleston, and a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary, School of Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He has worked for the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries in various capacities since 1995. Dr. Daniel currently oversees management of North Carolina’s marine fisheries, coordinating the development of long-term management strategies for the state’s most economically significant fisheries. Prior to joining the Division, Daniel worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Commission also elected Douglas Grout from New Hampshire as its Vice-Chair.

Logo courtesy Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

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