Ellen Peel, president and CEO of The Billfish Foundation, along with Russell F. Smith III , has been named U.S. Commissioner to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) by President Obama.
ICCAT is a 42-year old inter-governmental fishery organization of some 50 member nations responsible for the conservation of tunas and migratory species like billfish and sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, and its adjacent seas like the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Mexico.
In making the appointments President Obama said, “It gives me great confidence that such dedicated and capable individuals have agreed to join this Administration and serve the American people. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
Because of her passion and dedication to marine resources, Ellen was asked in 2009 to serve as the Acting U.S. Recreational Fishing Commissioner to ICCAT, pending final approval by the President.
Peel said, “I’m very much honored to be appointed to serve for the White House in the Commissioner position. The challenges are great, but I am committed to advancing and defending the fishing opportunities for all U.S. fishing interests, including raising the priority of both the recreational fishing industry and the billfish species.”
Salt Water Sportsman Editor-in Chief John Brownlee who, as a long time board member of The Billfish Foundation, has worked with Peel, expressed the feelings of many in the conservation community. “Ellen’s broad experience and knowledge, as well as her passion for salt-water fishing and the health of the resource make her the ideal person to represent the interests of U.S. and world anglers on this commission.”
Peel recently began her 16th year as the head of TBF. She holds a law degree from the University of Mississippi, and a masters of law in marine resources from the University of Washington in Seattle. With her specialization she worked in Washington D.C. at the Center for Marine Conservation getting a solid background with the law-making process.