Dr. Ken Whelan appointed President of Salmon Conservation


Date:  11 June 2004  

Organisation Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Mr. John Browne, T.D., has warmly welcomed the appointment of Dr. Ken Whelan of the Marine Institute as President of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO). NASCO is acknowledged worldwide as the leading international body in the field of salmon conservation and Dr. Whelan's appointment was confirmed at the Organisation's 21st Annual Meeting, which concluded today in Reykjavik, Iceland. Dr. Whelan is the sixth President of NASCO and is the first Irishman to hold this post.  He is also the first representative from the European Union to act as President of the Organisation.

"The appointment of Dr. Ken Whelan to the prestigious position as President of NASCO during the Irish Presidency is a great honour for Ken and for the EU and Ireland," said Minister Browne.  "Ken's appointment is highly appropriate given his outstanding and high profile work in salmon research at a national and international level and his commitment to the conservation of the wild salmon resource at home and abroad." The Minister added, "The appointment is also highly significant for Ireland and provides recognition of the very active role which we have played as part of the EU delegation to NASCO since the organisation's inception in 1984.  I am certain that Dr. Whelan will do an excellent job as President of NASCO and that his term in office will prove to be very successful one."

The Chief Executive Officer of the Marine Institute, Dr. Peter Heffernan, also welcomed the appointment.  "I am delighted Dr. Whelan has been recognised with this honorary appointment and see it as tangible evidence of the growing recognition by the international scientific community of the major strides Ireland has achieved in recent years in developing world class expertise and infrastructure for marine research and development."

In responding to his appointment, Dr Whelan said "It is indeed a great honour to have been chosen as NASCO's 6th President.  Marginal salmon stocks are under pressure from a wide range of sources and it is not an exaggeration to say that the very future of the wild Atlantic salmon in such areas could well depend on management decisions which are made over the coming decade.  I look forward to leading NASCO in its efforts to protect, conserve and enhance the unique wild salmon resource throughout the north Atlantic."


Notes for the Editor

Dr. Ken Whelan

Dr. Ken Whelan studied Zoology in University College Dublin in the early 1970s.  He joined the Inland Fisheries Trust Incorporated in 1975 and served with the IFT from 1975 to 1980.  During this time he completed a Ph.D. study on the biology of Irish ephemeroptera (mayflies).  He worked for the Central Fisheries Board from 1980 to 1989, where he acted as principal advisor to the Board on the management of salmon and sea trout stocks.  He was appointed Director of the Salmon Research Agency in 1989 and served in that capacity until his appointment, in July of 1999, as an executive Director of the Marine Institute.  In this capacity he acts as advisor to the Minister and Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources on all matters relating to salmon stocks.  He also advises the Department on a broad range of policy areas, relating to fin fish aquaculture, freshwater fisheries, the freshwater environment and fish habitat. He previously served as a member of the Council of Management and Honorary Scientific Advisory Panel of the Atlantic Salmon Trust and a member of the Council of Management of AIDSA (Association Internationale de Défense du Saumon Atlantique).  He also served as joint Secretary of the Institute of Fisheries Management (Irish Branch) from 1992 to 1996.  He is currently a member of the NASCO / Aquaculture Liaison Group and also a founding member and EU representative on the NASCO International Atlantic Salmon Research Board.  Dr. Whelan has been a keen angler since a very young age and has written extensively on angling topics.  His book The Angler in Ireland - Game, Coarse and Sea (1989) is considered one of the most detailed works on Irish angling yet produced.  His work at the Salmon Research Agency included the management of the famous Burrishoole Fishery. NASCONASCO was established in 1983 under the Convention for the Conservation of Salmon in the North Atlantic Ocean, signed by Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, the United States of America and the European Union.  Formed to promote the conservation, restoration, enhancement and rational management of salmon stocks in the North Atlantic Ocean, NASCO meetings regularly include a wide range of observer countries and accredited non - Governmental organisations.

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