Scott Hickman from Galveston, Texas USA was awarded the Gladding Memorial Award in 2017, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to sustainable management of fisheries and marine resources in the Gulf and Caribbean Region.

Scott Hickman has worked as a for-hire recreational fishing guide since 1997, after service in the US. Marine Corps. He continues to guide fishing trips but also guides hunters and fishes commercially. Scott is fully committed to the sustainable management of reef fish resources in the Gulf of Mexico and sees the critical roles of good science and accountability. Recently, Scott participated in cooperative research serving as captain for hundreds of federally and state funded research trips, aimed at analyzing red snapper stock status, and the effects of artificial reefs and their removal.

Contributing to conservation:

Scott’s greatest contribution to conservation was the development of the “Catch Share Experience”. Recognizing extensive recreational discard (and mortality) for red snapper, Hickman developed and eventually became the first in the nation to gain regulatory permission for this innovative program. Participant/vvolunteers purchase (pre-order) fresh fish at preferential rates and then participate as volunteer commercial fishers on his vessel, catching red snapper to fill their own order while learning while about fisheries management and details of the Individual Fishery Quota (IFQ) system.

Scott served as Charter Fisherman’s Association founder and chair. CFA is a broad coalition of recreational fishing captains committed to find solutions to complex management issues. Scott presently serves on the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council Advisory Panels (Data Collection, Coral, and Ad Hoc Red Snapper/Grouper-Tilefish IFQ).

Scott has been involved in helping to train and organize Bahamian fishers in Andros.

Experience since winning the GMA?

Scott continues to be very active in conservation and fisheries management. He now serves as Chairman of the Sanctuary Advisory Committee for the Flower Garden Banks Marine Sanctuary and has facilitated a proposed expansion. Scott continues to organize Balloon Rodeos. Turtles eat balloons and die. In the rodeos, fishers win prices for the most balloons removed from the water.

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