About the NFCC Board
Designed for functionality and independence, the NFCC is a “virtual” organization, with a very small but agile staff. This approach allows it to engage some of the best and brightest researchers, experts, and problem solvers to work on individual projects as needed.
The organization is governed by an active and prominent Board of Directors whose members are recognized throughout the nation as experts in science, public interest advocacy, environmental policy, fisheries journalism, tribal, and industry perspectives. Together, they represent a wide range of diverse interests in fisheries, the effects of climate change on our oceans, and years of experience in the field.
Statement from the Board:
Our mission is to ensure a future for the biodiversity of our oceans and the billions who rely on its abundance by fulfilling our role as a trusted educator and arbitrator within the fisheries community and beyond. We form a bridge between the various sectors of the fishing community, environmental groups, government agencies, and the public by presenting in plain terms the many issues facing our ocean today; by tackling carbon emissions at the root (the source of so many urgent problems); creating forums where divergent points of view can be expressed and examined and conflicts resolved collaboratively, with no predetermined outcomes; developing mechanisms to improve the collection and flow of important information; and facilitating the development and implementation of innovative problem-solving approaches. We welcome and value all stakeholders with respect for all and bias towards none. We have spent decades earning the trust of those who make their livelihoods on the water and are thus equipped for this work as few other organizations are.
National Fisheries Conservation Center
"For a quarter century NFCC has held a determined line: We aren’t here to fight over the fish. We’re here to make sure there are fish. That priority has guided our work from the start. That’s why our focus has evolved. Our early concentration on fisheries management turned toward deeper water as we learned that all fisheries face an underlying challenge: ensuring the ocean itself can still make dinner for billions of people. Today the greatest single threat to healthy oceans and fisheries is carbon pollution and its litany of consequences. Few challenges are more galvanizing, and few are more daunting. I am grateful and amazed at the talent and generosity that our board, staff, volunteers, donors, and allies and friends continue to bring to this effort. Thank you all."
Dr. Martin Hall
Head of Tuna-Dolphin Program
Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
"I believe that intelligent fishers and sensible environmentalists share basic goals, but that a history of conflicts and an inability to communicate frequently hide this fact. Organizations like the NFCC can help bridge this gap, building on common ground, and developing models that can be used to address fisheries conflicts and find solutions that allow the sustainable use of the oceans."
Suzanne Iudicello Martley
Iudicello & Assoc. Consulting
"Arguments about fishery management are all too often conducted passionately by folks who would rather fight than win. In contrast, NFCC is an organization that attracts leaders who are open to listening to other points of view, discussing alternatives and options that lead to win-win solutions."
Fisheries, Natural Resources, and Treaty Rights Office Commissioner
"NFCC brings us new information and processes to understand the latest changes in policy and ocean conditions that are coming, and how we can address them, so that tribes can act as leaders. It gives us a broader picture of what’s impacting us and how we can shape it."
USI Insurance Services
"As a young commercial fisherman in the mid 1990’s I became very frustrated with the fact that those closest to the resource had very little say in management decisions. Fishermen generally had little confidence in data being collected to inform these decisions, thus exasperating the feeling of alienation. The gut reaction was to fight back. At the time many environmental organizations were ramping up their engagement around fisheries. With all of these stakeholders “digging in” to their respective camps it was very difficult to find common ground and engage in productive dialogue.It was in that divisive climate that I first became aware of the National Fisheries Conservation Center and the work it was doing to bridge the gap between the various stakeholders, particularly with respect to cooperative research. Since then I’ve watched NFCC tackle some of the biggest issues confronting our fisheries, using the same collaborative, scientifically-informed approach that drew me to the group in the first place. With growing awareness of the global implications of climate change and changing seawater chemistry, our oceans have never been more vulnerable. These issues are too big not to solve. And it will take the leadership and vision an organization like NFCC can provide to bring the necessary voices to the table, because the magnitude of this issue is such that no one group or individual will have all the answers."
Independent Aquaculture Consultant
Hudson Valley Fish Farms
"Growing up on an island, I have always found the oceans to be both a fascinating and mysterious place. A favorite pass-time throughout my childhood was fishing off the docks of a local marina and always being surprised at what I would catch to bring home for dinner. I think these experiences during my formative years cultivated a passion for understanding the complex ecosystems in which we live and a realization that there are many interactions between ocean and land systems.
Over the past five years, I’ve dedicated my life to finding ways to grow shrimp and salmon on land using best practice technologies from adjacent fields. Working with recirculating aquaculture systems, I began to see the challenges of controlling different environmental conditions to allow life to flourish. This foray into the deep has sparked a new-found appreciation for the chaordic design of nature and highlighted for me how little we actually know about the world that we live in.
I believe that humankind has both the capacity and intent to impact nature in significant ways. I am honored to join the NFCC as a board member to shape and chart an intentional journey to leave our world in a better place through connecting, igniting, collaborating, learning and mobilizing."
Editor in Chief
"The National Fisheries Conservation Center understands and strives to bridge the gaps between fisheries stakeholders to build a foundation for data-driven policies. As a longtime fisheries journalist, I have seen lack of communication bring good policy to a grinding halt. NFCC’s mission and history bring a much-needed component to ocean policy to help ensure access to healthy resources."
TerrAqua Environmental Science and Policy, LLC
A few years later, in 2006, I began farming oysters. It has been gratifying to grow something that’s not just environmentally neutral, but benefits the environment in so many ways—also consistent with the NFCC’s goals.
At the time, I had wanted to grow clams as well, but the sediment was too poor to support them. By 2021, the oysters had sufficiently improved conditions that I started—finally—to farm clams.
As a commercial oyster farmer, I have worked with many stakeholders. Though my association with the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association, I have worked with legislators to promote the health of the environment and of the industry. Oysters have provided insights to my students on links between water quality, estuarine resources and human health. And the NFCC has provided mutually beneficial research opportunities for those students."
Additional Key Staff
National Fisheries Conservation Center
"Educating people about the risks of CO2 impacts on the ocean through the Global Ocean Health program is a job I love. Conducting a variety of projects as well as editing and writing for our Ocean Acidification Report allows me to keep my finger on the pulse of research and stakeholder efforts to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change on the ocean and its abundance. Through our work with leading seafood industry and tribal members, we’re able to make certain they understand the need for emission reductions to ensure healthy oceans, and assist them in clearly communicating that to their peers and decision makers. Collaborating with communities, other NGOs, and researchers on ocean acidification, warming, hypoxia, toxic algal blooms, sea level rise, and multi-stressor scenarios can be hard going, but very satisfying. NFCC/Global Ocean Health brings the message straight to the working waterfront in a way that no other organization does, and has built up decades of trust and credibility within the seafood industry."
Founding Board Member
January 1996 - January 2021
We lost a champion for salmon, for fishing people, and for the rivers and waters that produce fish for everyone. Thane Tienson, a founding board member of the National Fisheries Conservation Center, died in January 2021. “Thane was a mentor, a brother, and a dear friend to me and to this organization. We were fortunate to work with him more than 25 years," said NFCC Executive Director Brad Warren. Read our farewell to Thane.
Dr. Brock B. Bernstein
January 1996 – January 2018
Brock passed away in January 2018, after long and dedicated service to NFCC. His knowledge, empathy, and insight will be missed by all who knew him.
Dr. Ruth Gates
October 2013 - October 2018
"Ruth was a dynamo —a great mind and a great heart. She allied with us and brought her dynamic energy to our work, even as she was busy with one of the most ambitious efforts in history to save coral reefs. Her ingenious and practical approach was a model we can continue to learn from and carry on."
- Brad Warren
Dr. Dayton (Lee) Alverson
National Research Consultants
June 1994 - September 2013
Our founding chairman, Dr. Dayton Lee Alverson urged us to take on the biggest problems facing the oceans. He was humble, generous, wise, and one of the great minds of fisheries management (Google Scholar now lists 11,600 works that reference his publications). Few people anywhere have done so much to ensure that our grandchildren (and everyone else) will still have fish to enjoy. He served faithfully as our Chairman of the Board from 1994 to 2013. Read a tribute to Lee by NFCC’s Executive Director Brad Warren here.