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DMR Home > Keliher Appointment

Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher Appointed as Commissioner of the Council of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization

Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher has been appointed by President Obama to serve as Commissioner of the Council of North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO). The appointment does not interfere with his role as commissioner of DMR.

NASCO is an international organization, established by an inter-governmental Convention in 1984. The objective of NASCO is to conserve, restore, enhance and rationally manage Atlantic salmon through international cooperation taking account of the best available scientific information.

“This is a tremendous honor,” said Commissioner Keliher. “I have spent the majority of my career working to restore and sustain Maine’s marine resources, and I am looking forward to working with NASCO’s international membership to foster cooperation and information exchange on the wide range of issues impacting a species that is so important to our state’s history.

“This position will in no way impact time and commitment I devote to the work of the Maine Department of Marine Resources,” said Commissioner Keliher. “I am confident that I will be able to work effectively with NASCO to advance its objectives while at the same time continuing to give my full attention to DMR’s constituents.”

Governor Paul R. LePage appointed Keliher first as Acting Marine Resources Commissioner and then Commissioner. Throughout his career he has held numerous leadership positions in fisheries management organizations.

Atlantic salmon once returned by the hundreds of thousands to most major rivers along the northeastern United States, but now only return in small numbers to rivers in Maine. Commercial fishing for the species currently is prohibited by law and the Gulf of Maine population is protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources Division of Searun Fisheries and Habitat’s mission is to protect, conserve, restore, manage and enhance diadromous fish populations, including Atlantic Salmon, and their habitat in all waters of the State; to secure a sustainable recreational fishery for diadromous species; and to conduct and coordinate projects involving research, planning, management, restoration or propagation of diadromous fishes.