After 33 years with the state, North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Director Steve Murphey has announced his plans to retire. His last official day will be Jan. 31, 2021.
Murphey, who has been director of Division of Marine Fisheries since January 2018, shared with his staff on Monday that he has been planning this move since August, according to Patricia Smith, communications director for Division of Marine Fisheries.
“It has been an honor to work with such a dedicated group of colleagues and friends,” Murphey wrote in an email to his staff. “After 33 years however, it is time for me to start a new chapter.”
Before serving as director, Murphey was chief of the state Division of Marine Fisheries’ Habitat and Enhancement Section, which oversees the agency’s shellfish rehabilitation, oyster sanctuary, shellfish mapping, shellfish lease, shellfish disease, artificial reef and public trust/submerged lands programs. It is also the section that leads development of the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan, according to DMF.
Murphey began his career with the state in December 1987 as Division of Marine Fisheries’ artificial reef coordinator. In 1999, he moved to what was then the Shellfish Sanitation Section of the N.C. Division of Environmental Health, where he was a shoreline surveyor. Murphey also served as assistant section chief over the regional offices in the shellfish inspection program. The state reorganized agencies in 2011 and moved the Shellfish Sanitation and Recreational Water Quality Section to the Division of Marine Fisheries.