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Tina Berger, ASMFC: 703-842-0740
Doug Grout, NHFG: 603-868-1095
May 4, 2012

Two New Hampshire Leaders Honored with ASMFC Awards of Excellence  

Alexandria, VA – Dennis F. Abbott of Newmarket, N.H., and G. Ritchie White of Rye, N.H., were among those honored by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Annual Awards of Excellence in Alexandria, Virginia, for their contributions to the success of fisheries management along the Atlantic coast.  Abbott received his award in the legislative category, while White was honored for achievements in management and policy.   

"Every year a great many people contribute to the success of fisheries management along the Atlantic coast.  The Commission’s Annual Awards of Excellence recognize outstanding efforts by professionals who have made a difference in the way we manage and conserve our fisheries," said ASMFC Chair, Paul J. Diodati of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. "This evening, we honor several individuals for their contributions to the management and conservation of Atlantic coast fisheries."

Legislative Contributions: Dennis F. Abbott
For nearly 15 years, Dennis Abbott has supported fisheries conservation and management activities along the Atlantic coast as both an ASMFC Commissioner and a New Hampshire state legislator. As a Commissioner, Abbott has served on numerous ASMFC committees and taken on leadership roles, such as Chair of the Atlantic Herring Section and Co-chair of the Legislators and Governor Appointees (LGAs).  When he was first appointed, he championed the increased role of the LGAs on the Commission’s species management boards, helping to establish the current fisheries management decision-making process. He has also worked tirelessly to ensure that interested stakeholders have a voice in the Commission’s management process through its advisory panels.  

As a state legislator, member, and later Chair of New Hampshire's House Fish, Game, and Marine Resources Committee, Abbott sponsored a $1 fee on all fishing licenses, providing dedicated funds to improve fish habitat such as dam removals and stream restoration projects.  He championed the state’s saltwater license legislation to improve recreational catch data and provide additional funding for the state’s natural resource management. He also sponsored legislation providing state expedited rulemaking to facilitate timely implementation of Commission management actions.

Management & Policy: G. Ritchie White
A lifelong sportsman and saltwater angler, Ritchie White has been actively involved in fisheries management at the state and interstate level for nearly 20 years. He began his involvement with the Commission as an Atlantic Striped Bass Advisor, where he witnessed firsthand the recovery of striped bass and the slow but steady increase of recreational and commercial fishing opportunities. He gained a profound appreciation for the successes that could be achieved when the states and federal government joined forces to rebuild striped bass stocks. His belief that this success could be applied to other species along the Atlantic coast led him to be an important advocate for passage of the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act in 1993.

As New Hampshire’s Governor Appointee to the Commission for the past 12 years, White has actively participated in the Commission’s fisheries management process, serving on a number of species management boards, sections and committees, as well as chairing the Northern Shrimp Section.  In addition, he regularly meets with members of New Hampshire’s commercial and recreational industries, and his state’s congressional delegation on fisheries-related issues.   

White is a longtime appointee to New Hampshire’s Advisory Committee on Marine Fisheries and spent four years as Coastal Commissioner for the Fish and Game Commission. He is also a founding member of the New Hampshire Coastal Conservation Association, where he has served on the Board of Directors since its inception. A persistent and staunch advocate for science-based management, White has consistently strived to put the resource first while trying to balance the needs of the various users of marine resources.  

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