The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the agency’s Division of Marine Resources Director, James Gilmore, has been elected to chair the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).

“I’d like to congratulate Jim, not only on this prestigious honor, but for his career-long dedication to protecting New York’s vital marine fishery,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Jim’s election comes at an important time for New York as we strive for parity while also protecting fish populations. Jim is our leading expert in the issues that impact our valuable and fragile marine fisheries and his knowledge will undoubtedly serve the commission well.”

ASMFC, which was formed in 1942, is a joint commission of the 15 Atlantic coast states that coordinates the conservation and management of the states shared fishery resources–finfish, crustacean, and diadromous species–for sustainable use.

Gilmore has more than 40 years of environmental experience both with DEC and in private industry. Prior to his work at DEC, Gilmore worked as a fisheries biologist in a private consulting firm. He started his career with DEC as a marine resources specialist in DEC’s Stony Brook office in 1986. Gilmore then established the first Marine Resources program in 1990 in DEC’s Region 2, which encompasses all five counties that make up New York City, subsequently serving as Region 2’s Natural Resources Supervisor in Region 2. A few of his notable achievements include the creation of comprehensive DEC natural resources programs in New York City, enhancement of urban fisheries and marine habitat programs, the New York City Environmental Fund grant program, and land acquisition in excess of $100 million including Mt. Loretto Unique Area and St. Francis Woodlands.

At that time Gilmore also served as Emergency Response Coordinator in DEC’s Region 2 Office and was essential in organizing the DEC’s response on events including 9/11, the Con Edison steam pipe explosion on July 18, 2007, and several other events.

Gilmore became the Bureau Chief of Marine Resources in 2007, and was announced as the Director of the Division in April 2016. As the Division Director of Marine Resources, he has worked in cooperation with the Marine Resources Advisory Council, and is also an Executive Committee member of the New York Sea Grant Board of Directors. He is an adjunct professor at SUNY Stony Brook, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, and teaches a course in graduate level fisheries management.

“I am honored by the support of my colleagues from the 15 Atlantic Coast states, and look forward to working with them to tackle the challenges ahead,” Gilmore said. “I will ensure the voices of our many stakeholders – recreational, commercial, and conservation supporters alike–are heard. The commission must seek ways to ensure the integrity of our management process is protected, strengthen our collaboration with NOAA Fisheries, and continue forging alliances on Capitol Hill.”