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Marine Fisheries - nr-67-2016 Maready award

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Sept. 12, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

Gene Maready named Marine Patrol Officer of the Year

MOREHEAD CITY — Officer Gene Maready received the 2016 Marine Fisheries Enforcement Officer of the Year award from the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Program Saturday. The Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards, presented by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, honor individuals, associations, businesses and others who have exhibited unwavering commitment to conservation in the state.

Maready, a member of the Marine Patrol for 10 years who patrols the Alligator River and Albemarle Sound area, is flattered that his fellow officers elected him for this distinction.

“I’m just honored to even be put in for it,” Maready said.

Maready is known for the many cases he has solved involving the illegal use and/or abandonment of commercial fishing gear, violations of size and creel limits, recreational and commercial license violations, the illegal sale of seafood and larceny of gear. Sometimes, solving these cases involved undercover operations.

Maready also serves as a field training officer for new hires and he participates in the newly formed Marine Patrol Education Team, visiting civic groups, schools and expos to promote the mission of the Marine Patrol and to educate the public on fisheries resources, rules, regulations and laws. 

In a particularly notable case earlier this year, Maready saved a fisherman from possible hypothermia. After receiving a call about a commercial fisherman who was overdue on a cold winter day, Maready went to the area where he thought this fisherman would most likely have been fishing. He found the fisherman’s sunken boat, and then shortly afterward, found the fisherman in a nearby marsh. Maready took the wet and cold fisherman to dry land to meet his family. It was late in the afternoon when the fisherman was found and temperatures were expected to be near freezing that night.

Maready grew up in the Beulaville area graduated from East Duplin High School in 1988.

After high school, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served in Operation Desert Storm. While in the Air Force, he was a part of the security police unit. 

When he left the military, Maready enrolled at Wayne Community College to study Fish and Wildlife Management; however, the program was cancelled before he could finish his degree. He then entered into the Basic Law Enforcement Training program there, and graduated in 1993. That same year, he was hired by the Duplin County Sheriff’s Department. In his 13 years with the sheriff’s office, he moved up the ranks to sergeant, worked as a detective in the Investigations Division, and then was lieutenant over the Patrol Division.

Becoming a Marine Patrol officer allowed Maready to combine his law enforcement experience with his original goal of working in fish and wildlife management.

Maready lives in Columbia with his wife, Christy; daughter, Zoe, 12: and son Gabriel, 17.

Download a high resolution photo of Maready at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/douglas-maready-photo.

nr-67-2016

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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