Dr. Louis B. Daniel, the executive director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, has been elected chairman of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which manages saltwater fisheries in 15 states along the Atlantic coast. He replaces Paul J. Diodati of Massachusetts.

Daniel, a Pinehurst native and graduate of Wake Forest University, has worked for NCDMF since 1995 and has been executive director since Feb. 1, 2007. He started as a supervisory biologist and was executive assistant to the director for nine years. Daniel was chairman of the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council from 2004 through 2006.

“I am honored to be elected and look forward to working with my colleagues from the 15 Atlantic coast states, federal marine fishery management agencies, the Potomac River Fisheries Commission, and the District of Columbia to ensure the continued conservation and management of Atlantic coast marine fishery resources,” Daniel said.

 An ASMFC Commissioner since 2007, Daniel has chaired numerous species management boards, most notably the Atlantic Menhaden Board, where he guided commissioners through the development, approval, and implementation of a new management regime for Atlantic menhaden, one which recognizes the ecological role of Atlantic menhaden as an important prey/forage species.

Daniel, who did graduate work at the College of Charleston and got his Ph.D in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary, has won the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Distinguished Service Award and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Outstanding Service Award.