NOAA 03-R136
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gordon Helm
6/23/03
NOAA News Releases 2003
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NOAA FISHERIES OFFICE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT SENIOR SPECIAL AGENT
NAMED AS A NOAA EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR FOR 2002

Special Agent Dan Torquemada has been named employee of the Year by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. He was recognized at a ceremony at NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, Md. on June 18.

Torquemada received the honor for leading the development of creative methods to assess the level of compliance by private and public entities with the laws and regulations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). He has been an NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement (OLE) agent since 1990,

He used a broad range of enforcement tools including effective public outreach, education, a variety of verbal and written warnings focused on compliance awareness. When these measured didn’t work, he successfully investigated cases that lead to prosecutions on state and federal levels.

Torquemada’s active approach led to an 80 percent reduction of individuals creating dams along rivers inhabited by ESA-listed salmon. He also investigated and assisted the first successful prosecution on a section 9, ESA “take” case without the recovery of dead fish as evidence.

“NOAA Fisheries has made significant progress in identifying threats to the health and survival of federally threatened and endangered salmonids in Northern California by developing partnerships with state, federal, tribal and local agencies, stakeholders and the public at large,” Torquemada stated.

Torquemeda has over 20 years of law enforcement experience paired with expertise in ESA issues in California. This led Torquemada to be assigned as the lead special agent in developing and implementing strategic and tactical plans for investigating timber harvest activities in California.

“I truly love my job, and strongly believe in the OLE mission,” Torquemada added.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA, please visit http://www.noaa.gov.

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA fisheries) is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat. To learn more about NOAA fisheries, please visit http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov.