Members of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, meeting virtually this week due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, have recognized retiring NOAA General Counsel Lauren Smoker and NOAA Fisheries senior scientist Anne Hollowed for outstanding achievement.
Smoker, who has served as NOAA General Counsel for three decades, was presented with the Bob Mace Distinguished Service Award. Council members noted that Smoker worked on some of the most complex and controversial fishery management actions in Alaska, including the Community Development Quota Program, the Crab Rationalization and Amendment 80 programs, and salmon management.
The council said her depth of knowledge about legal requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act helped guide the council to ensure its management decisions would be robust and defensible to litigation.
Smoker helped establish clear procedures or council members on recusals and record-building and was always available to answer questions both on the record at meetings, as well as on individual matters, the council said.
Smoker’s award is named for Bob Mace, who represented the state of Oregon as a council member for 23 years.
Hollowed was honored as the third recipient of the Terry Quinn II Distinguished Scientist Award. The council gave her kudos for her contributions to fisheries science, ecosystem-based fishery management, and the implications of climate variability on fish and crab stocks.
Hollowed has been a member the council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee since 2003, SSC co-chair since 2018, and leader of the stock assessment team at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. In those capacities, she has been instrumental in upholding and progressing the scientific foundation of groundfish and crab management in the North Pacific, through her own research and through mentorship of SSC members and new scientists, the council said.
The Terry Quinn II award is named for Quinn, a University of Alaska fisheries professor in Juneau, who served on the council’s SSC until his death in 2019.