Fishing associations honor 6 FWC employees for conservation work
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943
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Two fishing associations honored six employees of the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Wednesday for their
efforts to conserve marine life. One is the new head of the FWC's
Division of Marine Fisheries Management, and the other five are
with the FWC's Division of Law Enforcement.
The Florida Guides Association presented the FWC's Jessica
McCawley with its Phil Chapman award at the FWC's commission
meeting in Key Largo. The award is given annually to someone who
demonstrates a commitment to the conservation of Florida's natural
Before becoming division director in late September, McCawley
was administrator of its Analysis and Rulemaking Subsection,
analyzing stock assessments and reports, gathering public opinions
and creating management options for marine fisheries rule
promulgation. She joined the FWC in 2003.
McCawley received her B.S. in Marine Biology from Spring Hill
College and her M.S. in Marine Science from the University of South
Alabama. Her experience includes work with red snapper and
artificial reef communities, predator-prey relationships in fish
populations, and human dimensions of fisheries management.
The Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association honored five
FWC officers who have made significant contributions to apprehend,
investigate or deter lobster-trap robbing in the Florida Keys. Bill
Kelly, the association's executive director, presented the award to
the officers at Wednesday's Commission meeting.
Officers Aaron Smith and Jason Rafter worked several
plainclothes details in Marathon. They worked day and night,
targeting areas where illegal activity was suspected.
"They made several cases in which they apprehended individuals
with undersized lobster, out of season lobster, speared lobster and
wrung lobster tails," Kelly said.
Lt. David Dipre and officers Josh Peters and Bryan Fugate also
were recognized. They have also worked plainclothes details to
apprehend individuals suspected of trap robbing. They have
worked six cases involving trap robbing, possession of undersize
lobster and possession of wrung lobster tails. All cases were
directly related to the illegal commercial harvest of Florida spiny
lobster, and each case led to the apprehension and arrest of the
"All five men consistently do what is necessary to target
enforcement when and where it is necessary to prevent the illegal
harvest of marine fisheries in the Keys," said Maj. Alfredo
Escanio, commander for the FWC's South Region.