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Fisheries Coalition Marks Major Growth
David Benton to take helm of Marine Conservation Alliance


August 12, 2004

Alaska - Turning its sights to national as well as regional fishery management issues, the Marine Conservation Alliance (MCA) announced Wednesday the appointment of David Benton as the coalition's Executive Director, effective October 1, 2004. Outgoing E.D. Ron Clarke will assume a similar position with the newly-formed MCA Foundation.

"The MCA is delighted to have attracted Dave Benton to this position," President Donna Parker said.  "He is an enormously talented fisheries manager with impressive experience: Chair of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Deputy Commissioner at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game; and years of experience as a presidentially-appointed fisheries treaty negotiator."

Regional management issues have been the MCA's primary focus since the group was founded three years ago, and it will continue to promote science-based fisheries management, but the organization believes its reach must now extend beyond the North Pacific. Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act ­ the foundation for federally-managed commercial fisheries ­ is one major task on the immediate horizon. Another is potential legislation arising from the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy's recent recommendations.

 "The MCA has grown quickly, and increasingly its activities will involve fishing interests and ocean constituencies nationwide," Benton said. "Since commercial fishermen are genuine conservationists, we're naturally interested in all levels of ocean health and marine resource management.  I look forward to helping promote and export the successes we've enjoyed in the North Pacific through the MCA."

Ron Clarke, whose leadership as the MCA's first Executive Director increased membership and scope of the organization, will now head the newly-formed Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation.  "Ron's skills and creativity will be huge assets to this new venture," Parker said. "We're all very excited by the opportunities presented by the MCA Foundation."

"The MCA Foundation will enable us to expand our existing projects, such as our marine debris cleanup effort, as well as to address wider-scale education projects - all designed to promote tangible, long-lasting marine stewardship," Clarke said.  "With the MCA in good hands, I'm eager to devote my full attention to the important new work of the MCA Foundation."

The MCA was established in 2001 by fishing associations, communities, Community Development Quota groups, harvesters, processors, and support sector businesses to promote the sustainable use of North Pacific marine resources by present and future generations.  The Marine Conservation Alliance supports research and public education about the fishery resources of the North Pacific, and seeks practical solutions to resource use questions to both protect the marine environment and minimize adverse impacts on the North Pacific fishing community.


Source of News Release:

Marine Conservation Alliance
Web Site


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