ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Aug. 22, 2016) – The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography Director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award – one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science – in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The award recognizes a wide span of achievements in Hogarth's 51-year-career in marine science, beginning with his research into threatened fish species; his roles as director of the National Marine Fisheries Service and chairman of the International Whaling Commission; and his service as the former dean of the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science and Director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography. During his career, Hogarth is credited with bringing greater international attention to preserving threatened fish species such as the Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna and sharks, and serving as a credible voice for independent science in preserving and protecting the world's oceans. Hogarth retired as FIO's director on July 31.
The award is to be presented at the AFS annual meeting on Aug. 22, in Kansas City, Mo.
"Bill Hogarth has had a singularly diverse but enormously influential career in fisheries," said USF Professor Steve Murawski in his nomination of Hogarth for the honor. "Although his professional roles have changed over the years, he has found a way to make a significant difference in the management of fisheries and in the lives of people with which he has worked. His accomplishments have been many and diverse, but always significant."
A graduate of the University of Richmond who earned his doctorate at the North Carolina State University, Hogarth's distinguished career began as a biologist and manager of ecological programs for Carolina Power and Light, where he studied how to minimize the effects of the nuclear power plant on the marine resources of the Cape Fear Rivers and nearby ocean environment. He went on to serve as director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries from 1986 to 1994, before joining the National Marine Fisheries Service in 1994.
Hogarth rose from regional leadership at NMFS to serve as director from 2001 to 2007, a critical time for the nation's commercial and recreational fishing industries. During his tenure, the Fisheries Service made progress in implementing plans to end overfishing and rebuild the nation's depleted fisheries. Hogarth also was appointed by then-President George W. Bush to serve simultaneously as U.S. Commissioner and Chairman for both International Whaling Commission and International Commission for Conservation of Atlantic. He joined USF as interim Dean of the College of Marine Science in 2007.
In 2010, the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and the resulting oil spill thrust Hogarth and USF's College of Marine Science into national and international headlines when USF scientists identified the formation of two large, underwater plumes which would prove to be significant to the long-term impact of the spill. In 2011, Hogarth was appointed as director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography – a State University System of Florida consortium of public and private marine research institutes across Florida hosted at USF – which has been designated as the Gulf coast state entity responsible for administering restoration funding and managing on-going research projects. Most recently, Hogarth led a statewide initiative to secure funding for a new research vessel to replace the aging R/V Bellows.
AFS created the prestigious award, known as the "Sully," in 1991 as a memorial to former AFS Executive Director Carl Sullivan. It is awarded annually in his memory to an individual or organization for outstanding contributions to the conservation of fishery resources.
"It is truly an honor to receive the Carl R. Sullivan Award from the American Fisheries Society," Hogarth said. "Carl Sullivan exhibited outstanding leadership in creating the conservation movement that resulted in the passage of the Sport Fishing Restoration Act "Wallop-Breaux Amendment" that expanded the federal funding for fisheries program across the country. I am proud of personally knowing Carl and to receive the "Sully."