Chris Oliver, who served for 16 years as executive director of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in Anchorage, Alaska, takes office this week as assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Oliver’s background and expertise would be an asset to NOAA Fisheries in working to reduce the nation’s $11 billion seafood trade deficit.
Oliver, a native of Texas, is himself a fisherman who has gained extensive knowledge of national and international fisheries issues. He worked on Gulf of Mexico shrimp fishery management issues prior to his move to Alaska in 1990.
Oliver said he intends to focus many of NOAA’s resources on the agency’s core science and management mission, and to seek opportunities for efficiencies in fisheries regulatory processes. Oliver said NOAA would continue to make long term sustainability the top priority, while looking for ways to maximize fishing opportunities for the benefit of recreational and commercial fishermen, processors, coastal communities and economies which depend on them.
NOAA Fisheries has offices in 15 states and US territories, including five regional offices, six science centers and 24 labs and fish stations. In addition to managing productive and sustainable domestic fisheries, including some aspects of marine aquaculture, the agency is tasked to work in conservation of protected resources including whales, sea turtles and corals.