Dr. Shelley Edmundson has been appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to the state’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, making her the first Vineyarder to serve on the influential nine-member commission in at least 40 years, and its only current female member.

Ms. Edmundson, a resident of Vineyard Haven, serves as the executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust.

In an announcement that went out Wednesday afternoon, the state Division of Marine Fisheries wrote that Ms. Edmundson has been appointed to the committee along with William Amaru of Orleans. Ms. Edmundson and Mr. Amaru will fill vacancies of two former members, Andrew Walsh and Charles Quinn.

“It’s really exciting,” Ms. Edmundson said in a brief interview with the Gazette. “I feel pretty honored, that’s for certain.”

The commission was established by an act of the state legislature in 1961 to advise the DMF on matters pertaining to marine fisheries. It is a nine-member board that represents a mix of recreational and commercial fishing interests, with appointees hailing from various coastal communities in the state.

Proposed regulatory changes affecting the management of marine fisheries - including rules on gear restrictions, size limits, seasons and hours, quotas and trip limits - must be approved by a majority vote of the body before they can be implemented, giving the commission broad regulatory influence over the state’s fishing industry.

Ms. Edmundson said that the state reached out to her approximately one year ago, hoping to add an Island representative to the commission.

“This wasn’t something that I necessarily wanted,” she said. “But they pitched the idea, and how the Island fishermen are sort of removed from giving their input on state regulations because it’s harder for them to attend meetings that are happening off the Island, so they’ve been wanting to get someone on the commission for a long time.”

At the time Ms. Edmundson said she was pregnant with her son Willis, who is now six months old, and wasn’t sure if she’d have the time to commit to the group. She’d be the only woman, likely the only scientist, and definitely the only mother on a commission made up largely of fishermen.

It was the Island’s own fishing community that pushed her to accept.

“Everyone just said that it would be really helpful and it’d be great to have a voice for them on the commission,” Ms. Edmundson said. “That’s what really convinced me.”

Ms. Edmundson, who grew up spending summers on the Island, has lived on the Vineyard full-time for almost two decades. With a background in ecology, she began studying the channeled whelk, known informally as conch, which makes up the Island’s largest fishery by both volume and value. Eventually she returned to school and received her Ph.D. in zoology and marine biology from the University of New Hampshire.

In 2011, Ms. Edmunson became a founding member of the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust, which works to support independent fishermen on the Island. She has served as executive director of the organization since 2016, gaining valuable experience as conduit between the Island’s fishing community and the state.

But being directly involved with regulations will be new for Ms. Edmundson.

“I’ve always tried to stay away from policies and regulations because it’s hard to make everyone happy, and different regulations can affect lives,” she said. “It can be a pretty complicated position when certain regulatory priorities might not line up with fishing priorities. But I just hope to learn all the concerns and different viewpoints from our fishermen, and be able to help find solutions.”

Commission members are appointed by Governor Baker for three-year terms. The other eight members are Mr. Amaru, Raymond Kane of Chatham; Michael Pierdinock, Bill Doyle, and Tim Brady of Plymouth; Kalil Boghdan of Hamilton; Louis Williams of Salem; and Arthur Sawyer of Gloucester.

In the announcement, commission chairman Mr. Kane expressed enthusiasm about Ms. Edmundson’s appointment to the group. The two have previously worked together as part of the Cape Cod Fishermen’s Alliance.

“I look forward to Shelley’s contributions to the commission and her island perspective,” Mr. Kane said in the announcement. “The Island fisherman and seafood industry will have a voice on the commission for the first time in over four decades.”

Ms. Edmundson said representing the Vineyard is a big responsibility for her, and one she doesn’t take lightly. She wanted fishermen to know that they could reach out to her with concerns any time.

Ms. Edmundson’s confirmation occurred via Zoom on Tuesday, a process that involved swearing oaths on the state constitution, reminding her of the importance and gravity of the role. Her first meeting is Oct. 29. An agenda has not yet been posted.

“I’m really hopeful that I can be helpful,” Ms. Edmundson said. “It’s a big weight. It throws you in the spotlight a little bit. I like to shy away from the spotlight, but I do feel like if it can help provide insight to what’s going on out here, it’s worth it.”