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MOREHEAD CITY – Dr. Louis Daniel has been named as the new director for the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries and will begin his new duties Feb. 1.
Daniel, 43, replaces Preston Pate, who served as the division’s director since 1997. The Division of Marine Fisheries has the lead role and responsibility in managing and regulating the state’s saltwater fisheries. The saltwater fishing industry in North Carolina is a $1 billion dollar a year enterprise. North Carolina’s estuaries and coastal waters are nursery areas for fisheries extending up and down the Atlantic seaboard.

“I’m looking forward to working with Louis in his new capacity,” said Bill Ross, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. “Our fisheries are such an important part of the economic and cultural fabric of North Carolina, serving as both a livelihood and a recreational pastime for many of our residents. Louis’s extensive knowledge and his ability to manage complex fisheries issues will make him an effective leader in this important role.”

Daniel began working with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries as a biological supervisor in 1995. For the past nine years, he has served as an executive assistant to the division director working extensively with the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, where he helped develop management policy for fisheries in federal ocean waters extending 200 miles offshore. He served as the chairman of the council from 2004 to 2006 and also serves on numerous management boards for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, a compact of the 15 East Coast states that regulate nearshore migratory fisheries.

Daniel also has had oversight of the division’s fishery management plan process, coordinating development of long-term management strategies for North Carolina’s most economically significant fisheries. He also works closely with the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, serving as a technical adviser on numerous issues. Prior to working with the division, Daniel worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for one year.

Daniel received his doctorate in marine science from the College of William and Mary, his master’s degree in marine biology from the College of Charleston and his bachelor’s degree in biology from Wake Forest University.

A native North Carolinian, Daniel grew up in Pinehurst. He and his wife, Ruth, live in the Morehead City area with their two children, Josie and Louis.
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