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The federal Department of Commerce has filled five vacancies on the New England Fishery Management Council, bypassing the candidacy of the Northeast Seafood Coalition Executive Director Jackie Odell for two of those seats.

Odell was a candidate for the obligatory Massachusetts seat that went to Mike Pierdinock, a Cape Cod recreational fishing stakeholder who will be serving his first three-year term on the council.

Odell was Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s second choice for the Bay State’s obligatory seat that will become vacant Aug. 10 when council Chairman John Quinn retires after reaching the mandatory limit of three consecutive three-year terms.

She also was Baker’s first choice for the at-large seat that will become available Aug. 10 with the pending retirement of Vincent M. Balzano of Maine from the council. Balzano also reached his term limit of nine years.

Peter Seminara, Gloucester’s shellfish warden and Baker’s third choice for the at-large seat, also was passed over in this year’s round of appointments.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo chose to appoint Kristin ‘Togue’ Brawn of Maine to her first three-year term on the council for the at-large seat. Brawn operates a wholesale seafood business that sources scallops from Maine’s scallop dayboat fleet.

Odell, who has engaged in the council process for more than 20 years as a stakeholder and is highly regarded within fishery management circles, said she was disappointed at being passed over, but plans to apply again for council membership when other at-large seats become available.

“I am so appreciative of all the people, all the stakeholders in the commonwealth and across the region, that supported me,” Odell said. “I look forward to applying again in the next round in 2022 when more at-large seats become available.”

Odell, who now lives in Gloucester, holds a Master in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island and a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental studies from Providence College.

She is a member of the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund, and serves on the boards of directors for the Northeast Sector Service Network and the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership.

Odell also is the vice chairwoman of the New England Fishery Management Council’s Groundfish Advisory Panel.

She received letters of support for her candidacy from members of various stakeholder groups throughout the region, as well as academia.

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“Jackie is consistently a source of valuable information on New England fisheries, and I rely on her extensive knowledge as important context for my research,” wrote Steven X. Cadrin, a professor and chairman of the Department of Fisheries Oceanography at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth’s School of Marine Science and Technology. “She is consistently at the leading edge of challenging issues, and often ahead of the wave to foresee emerging problems. Jackie is so plugged into the rapidly changing science and management system that she is a go-to source of information. She is a valuable resource to many of us in the region.”

 

 

 

 

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