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."