Editorial – Changing of the guard at New England council

Effective the end of this month, Pat Fiorelli, who has been the public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council for nearly three decades, is leaving to begin a new chapter in her life, retirement.

Stepping into her shoes is former Commercial Fisheries News Associate Editor Janice M. Plante, who has been working alongside Pat for several weeks now to ensure a smooth transition.  (See story, page 5)

editorial-SHPat, and now Janice, have the challenging job of keeping both the public and the industry informed and educated regarding the complex and often controversial workings of the council.

It’s hard work and it takes a special kind of person to do it well.  Pat has, and Janice will.

As Council Chairman Terry Stockwell said, “Pat has always been a strong advocate for commercial fisheries, and her clear and succinct communication skills have long helped bridge the gap between industry and the fishery management process.”

Pat’s tenure included a period of great change – as the council and the industry transitioned to limited entry in both the scallop and Northeast multispecies fisheries, to sector management for groundfish, and to rotational area management for scallops.

Finding a uniquely qualified successor was no easy task, but it would be hard to imagine anyone better suited to the job than Janice.

For nearly 30 years, Janice covered fisheries management for CFN and the breadth and depth of her knowledge of the council process is unparallelled.

So much so, that she was recognized by the council last year with its first ever Annual Award for Excellence – named the Janice M. Plante Award, in her honor.

In presenting the award, Terry Stockwell cited Janice’s “commitment to accuracy and her ability to boil down the often complicated background details and wide-ranging issues frequently associated with regulatory and management problems into verbiage that her readership could understand.”

We could not have said it better.  Skills that will serve her well in her new role.

So, as the baton is passed, we thank Pat for her years of service and wish her all the best in her retirement.  And to Janice, congratulations and our vote of confidence as you tackle the difficult challenges ahead.  /cfn/

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