Fisheries Congratulates Commissioner Bill Windley - ASMFC Presents Annual Award
Alexandria, VA – Mr. Dennis F. Abbott, Mr. G. Ritchie White, Mr. William T. Windley, Jr., and Major Harold Knudsen were presented the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Annual Awards of Excellence in Alexandria, Virginia for their contributions to the success of fisheries management along the Atlantic coast. Mr. Abbott received his award in the legislative category, while Mr. White, Mr. Windley, and Major Knudsen received awards in management and policy; scientific, technical, and advisory; and law enforcement categories, respectively.
"Every year a great many people contribute to the success of fisheries management along the Atlantic coast. The Commission’s Annual Awards of Excellence recognize outstanding efforts by professionals who have made a difference in the way we manage and conserve our fisheries," said ASMFC Chair, Paul J. Diodati of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. "This evening, we honor several individuals for their contributions to the management and conservation of Atlantic coast fisheries."Legislative Contributions: Mr. Dennis F. Abbott
For nearly 15 years, Mr. Abbott has supported fisheries conservation and management activities along the Atlantic coast as both an ASMFC Commissioner and a New Hampshire state legislator. As a Commissioner, Mr. Abbott has served on numerous ASMFC committees and taken on leadership roles, such as Chair of the Atlantic Herring Section and Co-chair of the Legislators and Governor Appointees (LGAs). When he was first appointed, he championed the increased role of the LGAs on the Commission’s species management boards, helping to establish the current fisheries management decision-making process. He has also worked tirelessly to ensure that interested stakeholders have a voice in the Commission’s management process through its advisory panels.
As a state legislator, member, and later Chair of New Hampshire's House Fish, Game, and Marine Resources Committee, Mr. Abbott sponsored a $1 fee on all fishing licenses, providing dedicated funds to improve fish habitat such as dam removals and stream restoration projects. He championed the state’s saltwater license legislation to improve recreational catch data and provide additional funding for the state’s natural resource management. He also sponsored legislation providing state expedited rulemaking to facilitate timely implementation of Commission management actions.Management & Policy: Mr. G. Ritchie White
A lifelong sportsman and saltwater angler, Mr. White has been actively involved in fisheries management at the state and interstate level for nearly 20 years. He began his involvement with the Commission as an Atlantic Striped Bass Advisor, where he witnessed firsthand the recovery of striped bass and the slow but steady increase of recreational and commercial fishing opportunities. He gained a profound appreciation for the successes that could be achieved when the states and federal government joined forces to rebuild striped bass stocks. His belief that this success could be applied to other species along the Atlantic coast led him to be an important advocate for passage of the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act in 1993.
As New Hampshire’s Governor Appointee to the Commission for the past 12 years, Mr. White has actively participated in the Commission’s fisheries management process, serving on a number of species management boards, sections and committees, as well as chairing the Northern Shrimp Section. In addition, he regularly meets with members of New Hampshire’s commercial and recreational industries, and his state’s congressional delegation on fisheries-related issues.
Mr. White is a longtime appointee to New Hampshire’s Advisory Committee on Marine Fisheries and spent four years as Coastal Commissioner for the Fish and Game Commission. He is also a founding member of the New Hampshire Coastal Conservation Association, where he has served on the Board of Directors since its inception. A persistent and staunch advocate for science based management, Mr. White has consistently strived to put the resource first while trying to balance the needs of the various users of marine resources.Scientific, Technical, & Advisory: Mr. William T. Windley, Jr.
Mr. Windley has served on the Commission’s Atlantic Menhaden, Atlantic Croaker, and South Atlantic Species Advisory Panels for more than 10 years. He assumed chairmanship of Atlantic Menhaden Advisory Panel in 2002 and the South Atlantic Advisory Panel in 2008, consistently representing the viewpoints and concerns of those panels to their respective species management boards in a fair and even-handed manner. Over the course of his chairmanship, Mr. Windley has participated in stock assessments for Atlantic menhaden, Atlantic croaker, and red drum; new management programs for Atlantic menhaden and several South Atlantic species; and the initiation of a new fishery management plan for black drum.
Mr. Windley is a long-serving member and four-term president of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association, a member of the Maryland Coastal Conservation Association, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the National Advisory Board of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, as well as Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s Aquatic Resources Committee and Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission.
A strong proponent of science-based management and managing the resource for the greater good, Mr. Windley has long advocated that managers base their decisions on science rather than political pressure. He has firmly held that if resources are managed properly, then recreational and commercial fisheries will not only coexist but thrive.Law Enforcement: Major Harold Knudsen
A veteran officer of the North Carolina Marine Patrol, Major Knudsen has dedicated his 29-year career to serving the citizens of North Carolina and protecting their fisheries resources. His dedication is steeped in a lifelong appreciation for the vast beauty of the outdoors and the importance North Carolina's nearshore waters and resources to its coastal communities. Major Knudsen supervises all Marine Patrol field operations for the state, covering 2.7 million acres of ocean and coastal waters and 4,000 miles of shoreline in 21 counties.
Major Knudsen is widely respected for working effectively across the state’s marine law enforcement districts to enforce North Carolina's marine fisheries regulations. His skill and dedication is evidenced by a recent complex case that detected significant under-reporting of red drum by three North Carolina seafood dealers. The case resulted in the issuing of 32 charges against the seafood dealers, including possession and sale of illegal red drum and failure to complete North Carolina trip tickets.