North Carolina environmental officials are on the hunt for a new director to take the lead at the state Division of Marine Fisheries.

Braxton Davis.

Braxton Davis.

Braxton Davis has been serving in the role for the last 11 months, but also serves as the director of the Division of Coastal Management. He became involved in the fisheries division when former director Louis Daniel resigned last February. Davis was surprised by the appointment, but didn’t see any conflicts of interest in serving both positions in adding the job to his workload.

Now officials with the Department of Environmental Quality are saying the workload is just too much for Davis to keep up both positions in the long term.

“Braxton has been an outstanding leader for our agency and has served admirably as the chief for these two divisions for almost a year,” said Michael Regan, secretary for the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. “Braxton and I and our leadership team have discussed the workload of managing two divisions, and we all agree that oversight of both divisions is more than one person can handle in a long-term situation.”

Until a new director is found, Davis will continue serving in both roles. When a replacement is found, Davis will continue to lead coastal management, which he has done since 2011.

The state’s fishing industry has been mainly supportive of Davis during his tenure.

“He’s been fair, and that’s all we can ask for,” said Jerry Schill, president of the North Carolina Fisheries Association.

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Samuel Hill is the former associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

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