U.S. fisheries administrator named


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
February 11, 2010

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday named Eric Schwaab as the new assistant administrator for fisheries.

Beginning Tuesday, Schwaab, who held the No. 2 position at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, will take over as head of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, the agency in charge of managing U.S. fisheries. His appointment ends months of speculation over who would replace James Balsiger, the acting assistant administrator for fisheries, who's returning to his position as NMFS' regional administrator for Alaska.

Brian Rothschild, a marine sciences and technology professor at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, and Arne Fuglvog, an Alaska fisherman and aide to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), were reportedly among the candidates to fill the position.

Schwaab brings more than 25 years of experience in local, state and federal natural resource management to NMFS and has spent the majority of his career at the Maryland DNR, where he began in 1983.

Schwaab served as director of the Maryland Forest Service; director of the Maryland Forest, Wildlife and Heritage Service; and director of the Maryland Fisheries Service. In 2003, Eric left the Maryland DNR to serve as resource director for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies until 2007. He then returned to the Maryland DNR as deputy secretary.

"Eric is a creative and proven manager, consensus builder and leader. He has developed and implemented solutions to address challenges in regional habitat restoration, including Chesapeake Bay restoration issues, fish and wildlife conservation, public lands management, natural resources law enforcement, public agency administration, strategic planning and leadership development," said NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco.

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