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Connecticut Governor's Top choice skipped for New England Council
June 30, 2012 -- The Commerce Department, filling the terms of departing members on the New England Fisheries Management Council, has bypassed the Connecticut governor's first choice of a "long-time commercial fisherman with a wide range" of hands-on experience for a young academic whose background shows support for old-style hook-and-line fishing tactics over today's commercial groundfishing draggers.

Matthew G. McKenzie, a faculty member at University of Connecticut Avery Point, was the second choice of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. And the Commerce Department's selection of McKenzie, who takes the place of environmental executive Sally McGee, was the only deviation from the priority list of nominees submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service by governors of New England's coastal states.

McGee, a former senior staffer at the Environmental Defense Fund, is completing her maximum, third three-year term,

Malloy's letter of nominees made clear his preferred choice was Joseph J. Gilbert, a well-known commercial fisherman with two scallop boats. Gilbert also manages four vessels involved in aquaculture farming, and is a member of the Fisheries Survival Fund. Malloy put McKenzie second on his priority list.

McKenzie studied and wrote research papers at University of New Hampshire with Andrew Rosenberg, who is a proté©gé©e of NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco and a former regional administrator of NMFS' Northeast Regional Office in Gloucester. At UNH, he worked on the Gulf of Maine Cod Project.

McKenzie is the author of a book, "Clearing the Coastline: The Nineteenth Century Ecological and Cultural Transformation of Cape Cod," a study of the forces that turned Cape Cod from a fishing culture to a tourist center.

Efforts to reach McKenzie were unsuccessful, but according to a UConn-Avery Point profile, he helped his father renovate Colonial era homes on Cape Cod, and has maintained a focus on preserving maritme communities.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act, which defines the qualifications of council members, requires specialization in at least one of six areas. McKenzie's is in the sixth: "teaching, journalism, writing, consulting, practicing law, or researching matters related to fisheries, fishery management, and marine resource conservation."

Rosenberg is also president of MRAG Americas, a major environmental contractor to NOAA, as well as the chief scientist and senior vice president of Conservation International.


Read the full story in the Gloucester Times



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