NOAA 99-R118
Contact: Gordon Helm


To strengthen habitat conservation activities while providing continued strong leadership in the Southeast region, NOAA Fisheries Director Rolland Schmitten has reassigned two senior managers from within the agency, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today.

Southeast Regional Administrator Dr. Andrew Kemmerer will lead the office of habitat conservation at NOAA Fisheries headquarters in Silver Spring, Md. Kemmerer brings to the office a considerable amount of knowledge and experience in dealing with controversial issues, such as implementing new Congressional mandates to rebuild fisheries and protect marine life while considering the effects of fishing practices on essential fish habitat.

"Andy's excellent managerial and negotiating skills will improve our interactions with the fishing industry and environmental organizations as we implement critical habitat measures within the agency's 40 fishery management plans," said Schmitten. "We need his experience and scientific strength in this important post."

Dr. William Hogarth will replace Kemmerer as Southeast regional administrator in St. Petersburg, Fla., moving from his post as Southwest regional administrator in Long Beach, Calif. Southwest Region Deputy Director Rodney R. McInnis will temporarily act as regional administrator until a permanent replacement is found.

"Bill has extensive past experience in Southeast fisheries management and has considerable knowledge of the concerns that face the resource and fishermen there," said NOAA Fisheries Deputy Director Andrew Rosenberg. "Shifting Bill to head the Southeast region will ensure that the high quality of management and service will continue as we bring Andy to headquarters."

The management changes are effective May 28. A national search for a new Southwest regional administrator will begin immediately.

Before becoming Southeast regional administrator, Kemmerer was director of NOAA Fisheries' Mississippi Laboratory, where he was involved in national and international scientific studies of fishery resources, gear technology, and engineering and remote sensing devices. He also has held academic positions with Mississippi State University, Jackson State University and the University of Puerto Rico. Kemmerer received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in aquatic ecology from Utah State University.

Before being assigned as Southwest regional administrator, Hogarth headed NOAA Fisheries' Highly Migratory Species Management Division. Hogarth was previously director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Richmond and a Ph.D. in fisheries biology from North Carolina State University.