Maine Department of Marine Resources fills deputy commissioner post

Posted Aug. 03, 2012, at 5:31 p.m.

HALLOWELL, Maine — More than a year since the previous deputy commissioner of Maine’s Department of Marine Resources left the position, it has been filled again.

Meredith Mendelson was appointed to the job in early June by DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher.

Mendelson most recently worked as a staff member for U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, assisting Snowe in her duties on the Commerce Committee where the senator was the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and and Coast Guard. Before that, Mendelson worked for Gulf of Maine Research Institute and as a groundfish sector manager in Rhode Island.

Mendelson, who lives in South Portland, said it is an exciting time to be part of DMR. She said Gov. Paul Lepage understands the economic and cultural importance of Maine’s natural resources and is focused on helping to make them more profitable.

“Obviously, sustainability of marine resources is key to the sustainability of coastal communities in Maine,” Mendelson said Thursday. “We have to listen really carefully to the businesses that depend on those resources and try to make space for them to grow and thrive wherever we can while still maintaining those healthy resources.”

In a prepared statement, Keliher said Friday that Mendelson’s experience in federal government will be a benefit to Maine’s fishing industries.

“Her main focus will be to ensure that the development of federal policies will complement, not detract, from our efforts to rebuild our fish stocks while working to maintain access,” Keliher said. “Issues such as the National Ocean Policy, the reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Fisheries Conservation Act, Ocean Energy impacts and Federal fisheries budgets will be a top priority.”

Col. Joseph Fessenden, chief of DMR’s Marine Patrol, served as the department’s interim deputy commissioner prior to Mendelson’s appointment. Before Fessenden, the post was held by David Etnier, who served under then-Gov. John Baldacci and former Commissioner George Lapointe.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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