Stephen Poland

State Resource Agency Appointee

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
252 808 8011    office (direct)
252 726 7021    main

Current Employment/Affiliation:

Steve Poland works in the director’s office of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries as the Executive Assistant for Councils and is the agency’s designee on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.


Steve holds a B.Sc. in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from North Carolina State University (NCSU) and a M.Sc. in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). He started his professional career at the NCSU Center for Marine Science and Technology after completing his undergraduate degree. There he worked and collaborated on numerous research projects including black seabass discard mortality, spotted seatrout movement and mortality, and juvenile fish survival in altered coastal creeks. Steve continued his studies at UNCW where he investigated the trophic relationships of large pelagic predators in the South Atlantic Bight food web and earned a Master of Science in Marine Biology. From there, he continued his professional career at the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries where he has worked since 2014. He started in the Fisheries Management Section’s Age Lab where he worked on numerous age and life history studies of commercially and recreationally important finfish found in North Carolina waters. Eventually moving up to the position of Fisheries Biologist and then Biologist Supervisor in the Division’s Central District Field Office, Steve was the state species lead responsible for spotted seatrout, weakfish, dolphinfish, and cobia. In this role, he gained valuable experience in collaborative science and interstate management issues as a member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Weakfish Technical Committee and chair of the Cobia Technical Committee. Steve is not only interested professionally in South Atlantic and interstate fisheries, during his personal time he can often be found offshore or in the coastal waters of central North Carolina targeting whatever fish species is seasonally available.

Steve assumed the agency designee position for the Council in June 2018.

Fisheries Management Philosophy:

Stewardship of our natural resources is something that all citizens are vested in, regardless of how or if they choose to use that resource. As resource managers, we have an obligation to not only manage for the varied interest of our constituents, but for the future users of that resource. Management decisions should be built on the foundation of sound, objective science while considering the social, economic, ecological, and intrinsic values that a fishery has to its stake holders. In practice, this takes cooperation and open communication between everyone involved and the realization that no decision is perfect and we all must share, as equally as possible, the responsibility of conservation of our resources.