Last week former Council Chairman Rick Robins was recognized by the White House as one of twelve “Champions of Change for Sustainable Seafood." These individuals were selected by the White House for their leadership and contributions to the ongoing recovery of America’s fishing industry and our fishing communities.
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. A statement from the White House noted that “After decades of decline, we are witnessing the economic and ecological recovery of America’s fishing industry. Overfishing has hit an all-time low, and many stocks are returning to sustainable levels. The U.S. fishing industry contributed nearly $200 billion annually to the American economy in 2014 and supports 1.7 million jobs... President Obama and his Administration want to honor America’s fishers and our coastal communities for their efforts.”
Richard B. Robins, Jr. is the owner of Bernie’s Conchs Seafood Market and Ocean Perfect Seafoods, Inc. He served as Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council from 2008 through August of 2016, where he led the Council through a historic stakeholder-driven visioning and strategic planning process for the management of marine fisheries. Under his leadership, the Council completed an amendment to establish a nearly 38,000 square-mile area, named for the late Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, in which deep sea corals will be protected from the impacts of fishing gear. Robins also led the Council in the development of an amendment to protect unmanaged forage species and spearheaded the Council’s efforts to address the impacts of climate change on fisheries. In August 2016 Robins received the MAFMC Award of Excellence for his distinguished service to the Council and outstanding contribution to the conservation and management of our nation’s marine fisheries resources.
Robins was recognized along with eleven other honorees during a ceremony on Friday, October 7. Learn more about the White House Champions of Change for Sustainable Seafood at https://www.whitehouse.gov/champions#section-sustainable-seafood.