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Marine Fisheries Administrator, Enforcement Staff, Receive Awards

May 24, 2013

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is pleased to announce that retiring Marine Fisheries Administrator Tom McCloy, along with four division marine law enforcement officers, were recently recognized by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) with Awards for Excellence for their outstanding contribution to the success of fisheries management along the Atlantic coast.

Tom McCloy has spent his entire career working for the betterment of New Jersey's marine resources and the fisheries they support. He began his career in the early 1970s as a biologist and was promoted to Chief of the Bureau of Marine Fisheries in 1990 and Administrator for New Jersey Marine Fisheries Administration in 2001.

In the 1990s, Mr. McCloy became engaged in broader coastal resources issues, serving as his state's administrative proxy to both the Commission and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. At the Commission, he played a key role in developing many of the Commission's initial Fisheries Management Plans in response to the requirements of the newly enacted Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act. These documents serve as the foundation for much of the Commission's management policies today.

For the past 12 years as Marine Fisheries Administrator, Mr. McCloy has been a key link between upper management within the state's resource agency and its diverse fisheries constituency. His expertise and experience has guided these groups in ensuring that the appropriate and prudent actions are taken for the benefit of the resource first and the fisheries that rely on them second.

The award cites Mr. McCloy's mentorship of his staff as his greatest and most enduring success. Due to this mentorship, a good number of his staff has served in important leadership roles, from chairing the majority of the Commission management boards to serving as vital contributors on species technical and stock assessment committees.

The Award of Excellence for Law Enforcement recognized the division's Marine Enforcement Unit's Captain Mark Canale and Conservation Officers Craig James and Jeremy Trembley, and retired Lieutenant Karl Yunghans. The officers were part of a joint NOAA Fisheries/New Jersey Law Enforcement Team which recently capped off a five-year investigation resulting in the conviction of seven defendants on 37 individual counts for trafficking in illegal oysters. New Jersey officers initiated the investigation, with NOAA Fisheries joining soon after.

For well over a year, state and federal agents and prosecutors worked to assemble the necessary evidence, prepare their case, and conduct hearings and testimony. Ultimately, their tireless work, exemplary interagency coordination, and dedication to preserving our natural resources, led to the successful conviction of an extensive criminal ring that had been depleting a vital, keystone species in the Delaware Bay.

To view the ASMFC news release, visit (pdf) on the ASMFC website.

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Last Updated: May 24, 2013