According to NWAA president, Jim Parsons, the board voted unanimously to make the award posthumously to Dr Mahnken, who served for two years on the alliance’s science advisory board, where he called on regulators and policymakers to use peer-reviewed science in developing aquaculture policy, both federally and in Washington State.
Parsons also said that the NWAA board recognised the leadership role that Dr Mahnken played in establishing one of the country’s leading research centres for stock enhancement and non-salmonid marine aquaculture: NOAA’s Manchester Fisheries Research Station.
“Without a doubt, Connie Mahnken is one of the reasons the Manchester research laboratory exists today,” Parsons said. “Both industry and government benefit from the work that goes on at Manchester, and we are forever grateful to Connie for his vision and determination to build this world-class facility.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented posthumously to Mahnken’s children - Hallie (Bowman), Trevor, and Brooke - by NWAA board member and longtime friend, Dr Wally Pereyra, during a private celebration of life taking place on August 27 at the Mahnken family home. Both Drs Mahnken and Pereyra were students and colleagues at the University of Washington and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and remained friends for decades.
“I’m blessed to have known Connie Mahnken for more than 60 years, beginning with our student days at the University of Washington and through our respective careers. It is fair to say that marine aquaculture in the Pacific Northwest and globally is better today, in large part due to Connie’s vision and scientific contributions,” said Dr Pereyra.
NWAA says that it now plans to collaborate with individuals and organisations who are interested in establishing a more lasting tribute to Dr Mahnken.