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June 6, 2011
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NOAA Scientist Appointed U.S. Government Delegate to International Council for the Exploration of the Sea

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Fred Serchuk
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Fred Serchuk (Credit: Shelley Dawicki, NOAA)
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International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
Fredric Serchuk, senior science advisor and a longtime fisheries biologist at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) of NOAA’s Fisheries Service in Woods Hole, Mass., has been appointed as the U.S. government delegate to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) by the U.S. Department of State.

The international group, the world's oldest intergovernmental marine science organization, coordinates and promotes marine research in the North Atlantic.  Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, ICES has 20 member countries, all bordering the North Atlantic Ocean or the Baltic Sea. Affiliate members in the Mediterranean Sea and the southern hemisphere include Australia, Chile, Peru, and South Africa.

As U.S. government delegate to ICES, Serchuk will represent the United States in the General Assembly of the Council and in Delegates’ meetings.  He will promote the policies and objectives of the United States in the functioning of the council, and oversee U.S. participation in ICES’ science and research programs.

Serchuk has been involved with ICES for more than three decades, participating in various committees, working groups, and study groups since 1978.  He was a member of the ICES Advisory Committee on Fishery Management from 1985 to 1993, and served as the ACFM chair  during 1990-1993, the first North American (and only U.S.) scientist ever to hold this position.  During the past two decades, he has been the U.S. member of the ICES Demersal Fish Committee, the Publications Committee, and the Resource Management Committee.  Since 2008, he has served as the U.S. member on the ICES Advisory Committee.

During 1996-2008, Fred was the U.S. representative on the Scientific Council of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, and served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He continues to be very active in various U.S./Canada transboundary assessment and management committees, and also in a number of national and regional fisheries science and conservation endeavors.

Serchuk has received numerous awards during his career.  He has twice received the U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for his fisheries science and management achievements, and was honored in 2006 with a NOAA Distinguished Career Award for “outstanding professional contributions to NOAA’s domestic and international activities supporting fisheries conservation and management.”

During 1994-2008, Serchuk served as the chief of the NEFSC’s Resource Evaluation and Assessment Division, a research unit with a staff of more than 80 scientists. In 2006, the division received the William E. Ricker Resource Conservation Award, presented by the American Fisheries Society for “outstanding accomplishments in the conservation of  aquatic resources and long-term contributions in providing high quality scientific advice.”

Serchuk received a B.S. degree from Cornell University, an M.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. He has worked at the Woods Hole Laboratory of NOAA’s Fisheries Service since September 1976, serving in various research, supervisory, and leadership positions.  He is a long-standing member of a number of professional societies, including the American Fisheries Society in which he has actively participated for more than 40 years.  During 1985-1986, Serchuk served as president of the society’s northeastern division.

ICES, established in 1902, comprises more than 1600 scientists from 200 institutes who work collaboratively in conducting marine science research.  The information developed from these efforts has significantly advanced knowledge of marine ecosystems, and has also been used to provide unbiased, non-political management advice.  The ICES Council, consisting of an elected president and two appointed delegates from each member country, is the principal policy- and decision-making body of the organization.  Dr. Edward Houde, a professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, is the second U.S. delegate to ICES. The organization publishes the peer-reviewed ICES Journal of Marine Science, and maintains some of the world’s largest databases on marine fisheries, oceanography, and the marine environment.

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