Amaru Named To Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission

By: Alan Pollock

Bill Amaru of Orleans. ED MARONEY PHOTO

ORLEANS Bill Amaru, a longtime commercial fisherman and advocate for sensible fisheries management, has been named to the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission.

Established in 1961, the commission advises the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries and includes nine members representing conservation, recreational and commercial fishing interests, including seafood dealers. Commissioners are appointed by the governor to three-year terms and must approve fishery management strategies before the state can implement them. Such strategies can include restrictions on the types of fishing gear that can be used, limits on the size of fish that can be landed, quotas, trip limits and closed seasons.

The commission advises on a variety of species, not just commercially important ones. Its jurisdiction includes fish, shellfish, crustaceans, sea worms and any other animal life inhabiting the ocean or its connecting waters. The body is now chaired by commercial fisherman Ray Kane of Chatham.

“Bill’s experience as a lifelong commercial fisherman, especially operating an inshore dragger, brings that valuable expertise to the Commission, while his conservation ethic and creative problem solving is renowned from his work on his various federal fisheries advisory panels,” Kane said.

Amaru held a seat on the New England Fishery Management Council for many years and was past chairman of the Stellwagen Bank Advisory Council. Throughout his career, Amaru has engaged with numerous academic and government researchers conducting cooperative research on commercial fishing gears. Through his work in commercial fisheries, he has experience in conservation engineering and was awarded a Saltonstall-Kennedy grant to research, test, and promote the use of square mesh.

Having fished commercially since 1972, Amaru is familiar with both inshore and offshore fisheries and has experience fishing longlines, gillnets, trawls, sea scallop and bay scallop dredges. He continues to fish on board the 36-foot Paladin, working from various Outer Cape ports. He also serves on the Orleans shellfish and waterway improvement advisory committee, and is past chairman of the town’s dredge advisory committee.

The appointment was made by Gov. Charlie Baker on Oct. 21; Amaru and another appointee, Shelley Edmundson of Martha’s Vineyard, are filling vacancies of two former members, Andrew Walsh and

Charles Quinn.