President Barack Obama has appointed Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher as commissioner of the Council of North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization.

Obama announced the appointment on Thursday. Keliher said in a statement that the new post will not interfere with his role as marine resources commissioner. He became chairman of the department in 2011.

The North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization is an international organization established by an intergovernmental convention in 1984 that seeks to restore and manage Atlantic salmon populations. The Gulf of Maine’s population of the fish is protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Keliher said Atlantic salmon are “important to our state’s history” and he will work to protect them as commissioner.

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