SCDNR Board chairman honored with lifetime billfish conservation award
October 17, 2022
CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (October 17, 2022) – Surrounded by family and friends, longtime South Carolina Department of Resources Board chairman Norman F. Pulliam was recently recognized with a lifetime achievement award during an end-of-season banquet for the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series.
Pulliam received this year’s Governor Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Award in recognition of his dedication to billfish conservation, which he has championed through his 16 years of service as a member of the SCDNR Board. First appointed to the Board to represent the 4th U.S. Congressional District in October 2006, he has served as Board chairman since 2017, following a year as vice chairman.
"Governor Carroll Campbell was not only a stalwart champion for blue water conservation, he was also a close personal friend of mine," said Pulliam. "I am honored and humbled to be recognized with this award, and I am proud of our billfishing community and of all the work we have done to honor and carry forth his legacy."
The Governor’s Cup is an annual sportfishing series founded to encourage the conservation of ocean resources through the tagging and release of billfish – a group of large, ocean-going fish that includes marlin and sailfish. Since its founding in 1989, South Carolina has seen a dramatic shift in billfishing statistics – from 90% mortality to a 99% release rate. Tag recoveries from Series-tagged billfish have additionally contributed to billfish research efforts. A South Carolina-tagged marlin, recaptured off Brazil after traveling 4,320 nautical miles, provided the first known evidence of a billfish's trans-equatorial crossing.
Pulliam’s commitment to the Governor’s Cup has been personal as well as professional: his passion as a sportsman led to a successful fishing partnership with friend Foster McKissick, with whom he owns the Rascal, a 61-ft Viking captained by Mark Rogers.
"Folks familiar with South Carolina’s billfish community know that you can’t mention the Rascal without also highlighting one of the boat’s greatest achievements," said SCDNR Director Robert Boyles, who presented the award. "While fishing aboard the Rascal during the Carolina Billfish Classic in 2005, angler Corky Taylor landed an 881-lb blue marlin, a fish that still holds the South Carolina state record."
About the Governor Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Award: Without the leadership provided by Governor Campbell, the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series and her participants would not exist. His foresight has led the Series to great strides both nationally and internationally in the name of billfish conservation, ranging from the rise of release-only tournaments and the Billfish Conservation Act passed by Congress, which prohibited the sale of marlin and sailfish in the United States, to a law to protect released fish by making illegal to remove them from the water. The Governor Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Award is presented each year to those individuals and families who have followed in his footsteps of promoting billfish conservation.