Executive Director


Swatzel_Tom_CFSF_website.jpgTom Swatzel

Tom Swatzel is a veteran in the fishery management policy, issue advocacy, and political arena.

He served for six years on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which is responsible for the conservation and management of federal fish stocks off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida to Key West.

Tom has also served on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Snapper-Grouper Advisory Panel, Winyah Bay-North Inlet National Estuarine Research Reserve Advisory Board, NOAA Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey-- For-Hire Constituent Review Panel, and the Atlantic Coast Cooperative (Fisheries) Statistics Program, For-Hire Subcommittee.

In the late 1980s, Tom founded the Freedom To Fish Coalition, a statewide South Carolina issue advocacy group that fought job killing fishery regulations.

In 2003, Tom founded South Carolinians For Responsible Government, a Columbia based statewide issue advocacy group that supports limited government and education reforms like school choice.

He was elected to the Georgetown County (SC) Council and served two terms. He also served two terms as the county Republican Party chairman.

Tom’s firm, Swatzel Strategies, provides political campaign consulting and management to clients in several states.

A native of Hickory, North Carolina, Tom received a degree in marine biology from the University Of North Carolina at Wilmington.

He worked at Capt. Dick’s Marina in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina for 34 years, serving in a variety of capacities: deckhand, fish cleaner, headboat captain, biologist, and eventually chief executive officer.

Tom lives in Murrells Inlet with his wife Susie and daughter Hayley.

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Council for Sustainable Fishing