Division of Marine Fisheries director Steve Murphey to retire at end of January

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries director Steve Murphey

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director Steve Murphey has announced he intends to retire after 33 years with North Carolina state government.

Murphey shared with his staff on Monday that he has been planning this move since August, and his last official day will be Jan. 31, 2021, according to NCDMF spokesperson Patricia Smith.

“It has been an honor to work with such a dedicated group of colleagues and friends,” Murphey wrote in an email to Division of Marine Fisheries staff. “After 33 years however, it is time for me to start a new chapter.”

Murphey has been the director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries since January 2018.

Prior to becoming director, Murphey was chief of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Habitat and Enhancement Section, which houses 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.

Murphey began his career with North Carolina state government in December 1987 as the 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. Over the years, he moved up through different positions to become the 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.