New Commissioner Seeks “Ground Truth” To Reshape Marine Resources Department

ELLSWORTH — During a U.S. Foreign Service career that spanned nearly 30 years in posts around the globe, Department of Marine Resources (DMR) Commissioner Norman Olsen experienced countless inspections aimed at determining the “ground truth” about how well the local embassy functioned and what changes or improvements might be needed to make it function better.

Now Olsen is using a similar mechanism to help him determine how DMR might be restructured to make better use of its limited manpower resources.

This month, a team of three independent outside consultants began a top-to-bottom review of DMR. The result, Olsen said recently, could be “a potentially significant reorganization” of DMR to help it meet “new existing and new challenges.”

With the approval of LePage administration Finance Commissioner Sawin Millet, Olsen hired Marylanders David Wallace and Peter Jensen and Rhode Islander David Borden. They will, Olsen said, “conduct a top-to-bottom analysis of what we do.” All three have substantial experience in fisheries management.

Now a consultant who specializes in fisheries management issues, Wallace formerly owned and ran large, integrated fishing and seafood processing companies and served as a member of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

A one-time Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Jensen served for several years as chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

Borden, a former Rhode Island director of fisheries, has been a longtime member, and former chairman, of the New England Fishery Management Council.

“These are three guys who know every aspect of everything DMR does,” Olsen said.

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Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Waterfront Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Rappaport has lived in Maine for nearly 30 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats. [email protected]