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NOAA names new director for aquaculture


March 19, 2020
By Liza Mayer


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Danielle Blacklock, newly appointed director, Office of Aquaculture at NOAA (Credit: NOAA Fisheries)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has appointed Danielle Blacklock as the agency’s new director for the Office of Aquaculture.

She takes over from Michael Rubino, who held the role since 2011. Rubino is now the new senior advisor for seafood strategy at NOAA.

Blacklock will be responsible for providing the strategic vision for developing a strong marine aquaculture industry in the United States. Specifically, she will lead the office’s work on several distinct priority areas including regulation and policy, science, outreach, and international activities in support of US aquaculture, NOAA said in a statement.

Blacklock said her vision for the office is “to help the United States move even more decisively toward becoming a global leader in sustainable seafood production. Wild capture fisheries and farmed seafood are intertwined and both are critical to our nation’s future food supply.”

“I plan to work inclusively and transparently to guide the development of sustainable farms in federal waters, while supporting additional development in state waters and associated land-based facilities,” she said.

Blacklock comes to the position after serving in various roles within NOAA for the past 10 years. Most recently, she was the senior policy advisor for Aquaculture, a role that included a stint at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She also served as the acting deputy in the Office of Aquaculture for several months.

Blacklock holds a Master’s Degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Science from the University of Maine.