Covington, WA (August 25, 2022)—In recognition of his significant contribution to the conservation and restoration of endangered salmon populations, as well as his efforts toward the responsible development of marine aquaculture regionally and globally, Dr. Conrad (Connie) VW Mahnken (1937-2021) has been selected as the winner of the Northwest Aquaculture Alliance’s (NWAA) Lifetime Achievement Award for 2021-2022.
According to NWAA President, Jim Parsons, the NWAA Board voted unanimously to make the award posthumously to Dr. Mahnken, who served for two years on the Alliance’s Science Advisory Board, where he called on regulators and policymakers to use peer-reviewed science in developing aquaculture policy both federally and in Washington state.
Parsons also said that the NWAA Board recognizes the leadership role that Dr. Mahnken played in establishing one of the country’s leading research centers for stock enhancement and non-salmonid marine aquaculture: NOAA’s Manchester Fisheries Research Station in Washington state.
“Without a doubt, Connie Mahnken is one of the reasons the Manchester research laboratory exists today,” Parsons said. “Both industry and government benefit from the work that goes on at Manchester, and we are forever grateful to Connie for his vision and determination to build this world-class facility.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented posthumously to Mahnken’s children—Hallie (Bowman), Trevor, and Brooke—by NWAA Board Member and longtime friend, Dr. Wally Pereyra, during a private Celebration of Life taking place on August 27 at the Mahnken family home. Both Drs. Mahnken and Pereyra were students and colleagues at the University of Washington and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and remained friends for decades.
Said Dr. Pereyra: “I’m blessed to have known Connie Mahnken for more than 60 years, beginning with our student days at the University of Washington and through our respective careers. It is fair to say that marine aquaculture in the Pacific Northwest and globally is better today, in large part due to Connie’s vision and scientific contributions.”
NWAA plans to collaborate with individuals and organizations who are interested in establishing a more lasting tribute to Dr. Mahnken.