South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Trish Murphey

Current Employment/Affiliation:

Trish Murphey 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.


Trish started her career as a technician at SC DNR working on fishery development projects for golden crab, octopus, and squid.  She also was involved in crustacean management, salt marsh research and participated on several early SEAMAP cruises.  In 1987 she moved with her husband to North Carolina and briefly worked as a technician for the NC DMF in various habitat and fishery related projects before going to the NMFS Beaufort lab.   There she was involved in numerous seagrass and oyster monitoring and restoration studies in NC, Maryland, and Florida. Trish returned to DMF in 1996 as a biologist working in the License and Statistics Section and later as a shellfish biologist.  She oversaw clam, scallop, and shrimp management until promotions to biologist supervisor and then southern district manager.  She led the development and implementation of NC Fishery Management Plans for oyster, clam, shrimp, and scallop. She was a member of the ASMFC TC for menhaden, horseshoe crab and was on the Management and Science Committee.  She briefly worked for the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuarine Partnership on the Coastal Habitat Protection plan and participated on the SAFMC Citizen Science Project/Topics Action Team and the Habitat Protection and Ecosystem-Based Management AP before returning DMF.

Trish holds a B.S. in Marine Sciences from Florida Institute of Technology (1985).  She assumed the agency designee position for the Council in September 2021.

Fisheries Management Philosophy:

Fisheries management is a balancing act between sustainable fish populations, habitat protection, the growing influence of climate change, and stakeholder access.  To maintain this balance, decisions need to be based on sound science ranging from single species stock assessments to holistic ecosystem function and services.  To improve on our management and policy decisions, we need to better understand the social-economic interaction of recreational and industry needs at the individual, community, and regional level.  To do this, we need input, cooperation, and collaboration of all stakeholders to develop policies to ensure the long-term health of our south Atlantic fisheries and the ecosystem services it provides.