Vineyard whelk expert appointed to fisheries commission

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Whelk expert and Martha's Vineyard Fishermen's Preservation Trust executive director Shelley Edmundson has been appointed to the state's Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission. — Courtesy Shelley Edmundson

Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust (MVFPT) executive director Shelley Edmundson was sworn in Monday by officials as a member of the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission. 

“It happened in my dining room over Zoom,” she said. 

Edmunson, an expert in channel whelk, one of the largest fisheries governed solely by the commonwealth, said she was hesitant to leave her comfort zone of research and enter a policy-making arena. However, she said, she was convinced to commit to the appointment by local fishermen who wanted Vineyard representation by someone they trusted. “The Island hasn’t had a person on the commission in a while,” she said.

In a recent press release issued by the state Division of Marine Fisheries, commission chair Ray Kane welcomed Edmundson aboard. “I look forward to Shelley’s contributions to the commission and her Island perspective. The Island fishermen and seafood industry will have a voice on the commission for the first time in over four decades,” he wrote.

The release took her a bit by surprise, Edmundson said. “I found out because Johnny Hoy texted me congratulations,” she said.