New Jersey Coast Angler Association Sportsman of the Year
Bruce Freeman, a Research Scientist with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife's Marine Fisheries Administration, was named the Jersey Coast Anglers Association Sportsperson of the Year at their annual banquet on November 13.
Mr. Freeman is approaching a forty-year milestone of dedicated service to the fisheries management programs that span the Atlantic Coast. He began his career in 1965 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Bureau of Sport Fisheries collecting data on statistics. He subsequently moved to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) when the Bureau's of Commercial Fisheries and Sportfisheries were merged. In 1980 he was assigned on a NMFS fellowship to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and shortly thereafter became a permanent New Jersey employee. He has continued to work for New Jersey with the exception of a hiatus of two years to serve as Director of North Carolina's Division of Marine Fisheries.
Mr. Freeman has served on both the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council for most of the last 25 years. The majority of the time he represented New Jersey and for two years the State of North Carolina. He has served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of virtually every species management board of the Commission as well as the various committees of the Council.
During his career Mr. Freeman has served selflessly and has always been dedicated to the proper management of the marine fisheries resources. During his tenure many fisheries resources such as striped bass, summer flounder, black sea bass and scup have recovered and his ideas and approach have been instrumental in the recovery of these stocks. He always approached difficult fisheries management issues with diplomacy and recognized the needs of other state and federal partners in the management process. Mr. Freeman embodied the true cooperative spirit of the Commissions' management process and has made a tremendous lifelong contribution to the fisheries conservation profession.