Marine Conservation Alliance Names New Executive Director

Commercial fisheries veteran Merrick Burden has stepped into the post of executive director of the Marine Conservation Alliance, filling the vacancy left by the retirement of Dave Benton.

Burden, who will be based in an office at Seattle Fisherman’s Terminal, has an extensive background in commercial fisheries. He has worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Pacific Fishery Management Council, and, most recently, as the senior fisheries economist for the Environmental Defense Fund.

He said in a statement issued by MCA that he is looking forward to helping chart a course that enhances MCA’s impact of sustainably managed fisheries through the use of science.

MCA, which is based in Juneau and Seattle, is a coalition of seafood processors, harvesters, support industries, coastal communities and community development quota groups in Alaska. Its priorities include catch share programs, bycatch management, Steller sea lions, habitat and coastal and marine spatial planning.

Merrick also will lead the Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation, which works on marine debris cleanup and cooperative research on issues ranging from crab tagging, and information collection in the scallop fishery to the intersection between fishery activities and right whales.