2019 Board of Directors

Richard Appeldoorn

Manuel Botello

(Active) Dr. Appeldoorn received his BS in Environmental Science from Rutgers University in 1974 and his PhD in (Biological) Oceanography in 1980 from the University of Rhode Island. Since 1981 he has been on the faculty of the Department of Marine Science, University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez, currently at the rank of Professor. He has graduated 13 MS and 11 PhD students during that tenure. Within the general field of fishery biology, Dr. Appeldoorn has conducted extensive work on the biology and fishery of the queen conch and of coral reef fishes. Recent research has focused on spawning aggregations, fish larval dispersal, and the distribution and movements of coral reef fishes and their relationship to habitat distributions over the seascape. Particular emphasis is given to developing biological design criteria for marine reserves and the use of reserves in fishery and coastal zone management. He has extensive experience throughout the Caribbean, conducting research and fishery assessments in Venezuela, Colombia, Belize, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, US Virgin Islands and in the waters off the Lesser Antilles. A longstanding member of the Board of Directors of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute and the Science and Statistics Committee of the US Caribbean Fishery Management Council, Dr. Appeldoorn is committed to enhancing management with the best scientific information. Dr. Appeldoorn currently lives in La Parguera, Puerto Rico. (Active) Manuel Botello has been fishing around Puerto Rico for 44 years. He has seen it all. It never gets old listening to Manuel talk about his fishing adventures. Manuel’s parents introduced him to deepsea fishing at the age of 13 and ever since he has perfected is ability as a master angler and responsible boat Captain. Manuel led the expansion of the Dolphinfish Research Program in Puerto Rico in December 2007. Little did he know that his second fish tagged and released aboard his vessel would be recaptured 88 days later off the Dominican Republic. After that outing and over the course of the past 10 years, Manuel has released hundreds of small dolphin for science around Puerto Rico including a handful of popup satellite archival transmitters (PSATs). Data from those recaptures and tagging events have established links between the U.S. Caribbean fishery with the east coast and detailed how adult male dolphinfish vertically tracking aggregating prey as they dive to depths in excess of 200 meters.  Manuel currently lives in Old San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Luis Burgos

Richard Delizza

(Former Board Member) Captain Luis Burgos is the founder of the Caribbean Fishing Academy which works to get kids involved in fishing as an extracurricular activity to provide them a healthy lifestyle and constructive hobby; guiding youth away from drugs and violence; engage youth in the good fight to preserve the Caribbean fragile natural resources; introduce youth to the fishing and marine industries as a potential career path. Luis has been participating in the Dolphinfish Research Program since 2012 and is also involved in fisheries research relative to the Puerto Rico FAD system. Luis lives in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. (Active)Richard Delizza is the President of Electric Sales Associates, Inc. a small business based in Florida.  Richard has been recreationally fishing south Florida and Caribbean waters for 45 years with emphasis on dolphinfish.  I’ve been involved with the Dolphin Research Program since 2002 and have been involved in promoting research expansion.  I served 3 terms on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council for the  Dolphinfish/Wahoo advisory panel during the years where the Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) was being finalized and implemented.  Currently Richard is a member of other fish conservation groups including The Billfish Foundation, International Game Fish Association, CCA Florida, and Recreational Fishing Alliance.  Richard currently lives in the Florida Keys.

Don Gates

Don Hammond

Don Hammond Beyond Our Shores Original Board Member
(Active) Don Gates was raised in Central Florida and has spent the past 25 years fishing the east coast of Florida and off Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. Don fishes with a group of friends that have become one of the best fishing teams in the Florida Keys. His team has marked and released dolphinfish every year since the Dolphinfish Research Program began in 2002. To date, they have released an astounding 2,250 fish the most among any fishing team participating in the Program. Don plans on retiring to the Florida Keys in three years where he will focus on fishing full time. Don and his team feel that this research is important to the long-term sustainability of recreational fishing. Don works in the oil industry based out of Houston, Texas. Honorary Board Member and Director Emeritus – Don Hammond is a retired marine fisheries biologist of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. While an employee of SCDNR, Don led the development of a research program to address the migration of dolphinfish along U.S east coast. That research program began in 2002. After that government funded project ended in 2005, Don formed the Cooperative Science Services, LLC, to continue the research. From 2005-2017, Don enlisted the participation of more than 1600 recreational and commercial fishing vessels, 2500 fishermen, in various countries in the Caribbean Sea, Central and South America, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Gulf of Oman. Don is an avid fishermen and hunter and resides in Charleston, South Carolina.

David Neblett

(Active) David Avellar Neblett is a founding partner of Perry & Neblett P.A. and is a Board Certified Admiralty & Maritime law expert. Mr. Neblett earned a degree in the Marine Sciences from the University of Miami, and a J. D. in law from the University Of Miami School of Law with special emphasis in Admiralty and Insurance law. David has considerable Federal and State Court trial experience and heads Perry & Neblett’s litigation practice. David learned his trade working for insurance companies and representing their interests in bad faith and coverage disputes. As an attorney who has represented, insurance companies, yacht owners, marine business and commercial property owners, he prides himself as a tough trial attorney that has a practical understanding of boats and boating, the marine industry and the internal workings of insurance companies. Mr. Neblett is very avid boater, diver and fisherman and he tries to fish as many fishing tournaments in Florida and in the Bahamas as his trial schedule permits. David is very involved in the community and he has lectured at the University of Miami School of Law and been a board a member or officer of the Miami Yacht Club for ten years. In addition to Mr. Neblett’s community service, he is also a board member of Wounded Nature Wounded Veterans, a national organization whose mission is to employ veterans in the preservation and cleanup of beaches, estuaries and coastal areas across the United States. David currently lives in Miami, Florida.
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