South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Council Member, Amy Dukes.

Amy Dukes

Current Employment/Affiliation:

Amy Whitaker Dukes is currently the Regional Fisheries Manager for the Office of Fisheries Management within the Marine Resources Division of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). She is responsible for managing the state’s commercial and recreational marine fisheries-dependent data collections and ensuring data collected are complete, accurate, and timely, as these data are directly used to ensure that marine fisheries are effectively and sustainably managed throughout their range.


Amy earned a B.S. degree in Marine Science from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC. Directly after graduating, she began working for the SCDNR Marine Resources Research Institute (MRRI) on a penaeid shrimp project. Amy has a passion for interacting and talking with people, and this desire quickly led her to transition to a position within the Office of Fisheries Management. She began working directly with fishermen to collect fishery-dependent data on diadromous species. She loved it, but a permanent position took her back to the Institute. Amy worked with the MRRI Research and Monitoring Section on the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve project conducting long-term research, including activities involving the Reserve’s participation in the System-Wide Monitoring Program. However, she missed her interactions with fishermen, and in 2007, Amy returned to the Office of Fisheries Management. Over the last 17 years, she has worked on a variety of projects and programs related to the collection of fishery-dependent data in support of the development, monitoring, regulation, and management of the state’s recreational and commercial fisheries. Amy’s duties include managing, as well as actively participating with her staff, on projects and programs associated with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration, Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act, the State-Federal Cooperative Fishery Statistics Program, and the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program. Amy also represents the agency on several advisory panels (AP) and committees with partnering agencies to ensure that coordination efforts are successful and SCDNR’s perspective is provided. These include the Highly Migratory Species AP, the Sea Grant Reef Fish AP, and the SC Aquariums Good Catch Program. She also serves as the Program Director for the SC Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series.

Fisheries Management Philosophy:

We all desire a healthy marine ecosystem and as such, it is our responsibility to ensure diverse and sustainable access to these marine resources. Developing sound fisheries management, and therefore conservation of our marine resources requires developing a plan that ensures comprehensive cooperation, including opportunities to provide input and perspective through a public and transparent approach. There is a necessary balance to ensure that fish stocks are not overexploited and that ecosystems and habitats are protected and enhanced. We need to think creatively about fisheries management as our marine resources are continuously evolving. As managers, we need to be open and provide flexibility in how we manage these resources, understanding that there are many paths that will lead to improving policies and operations, as well as fishing opportunities for all, through our steadfast commitment for these marine resources.