Secretary of Commerce Names 30 to Fishery Management Councils

June 25, 2009

The Commerce Department today announced the appointment of 30 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils – important partners with NOAA’s Fisheries Service in determining how ocean fisheries are managed.

The councils, established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, create comprehensive plans for marine fish stocks in their regions. Among their goals is to fulfill the act’s charge to end overfishing of 41 stocks by 2010. NOAA’s Fisheries Service works closely with the councils during plan development and also reviews, approves and implements the management plans developed by the councils.

“We welcome the new and returning appointees to these important councils. They play a critical role in ensuring sustainable marine fisheries, which are in turn vitally important to coastal communities and coastal economies,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This is an exciting and challenging time for fishery management, and the councils’ efforts ensure that the public is well represented in this process. These are the experts--fishermen and scientists, leaders in their regions--who will help us achieve sustainable fisheries and maintain vibrant fishing communities.”

Council members represent diverse interests - commercial and recreational fisheries, environmental concerns and academia. The Secretary of Commerce selects a total of 72 appointed members to the eight regional councils. Thirty are being named or reappointed for the next term, which begins on August 11.

Each year, NOAA’s Fisheries Service solicits nominations from the governors of fishing states and oversees the annual appointment process. The secretary must select council members from the list of nominees provided by the governors to fill obligatory and at-large seats that have become available due to an expiring term, a resignation or other reasons. Obligatory seats are state-specific, while at-large seats can be filled by a person from any of the states in the region. Council members serve three-year terms, and may be reappointed to serve up to three consecutive terms. Approximately one-third of the terms expire annually. An asterisk (*) indicates a reappointment.

New England Council

The New England Council includes members from the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The appointees for 2009 fill obligatory seats for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island and one at-large seat.

Obligatory seats:
*Rodney M. Avila (Mass.)
*Sally E. McGee (Conn.)
*David E. Preble (R.I.)
*James A. Odlin (Maine)

At-Large:
Glen A. Libby (Maine)

Mid-Atlantic Council

The Mid-Atlantic Council includes members from the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The appointees for 2009 fill obligatory seats for New Jersey and Virginia and two at-large seats.

Obligatory seats:
Peter L. deFur (Va.)
Christopher J. Zeman (N.J.)

At-Large:
Steven F. Schafer (N.Y.)
Preston P. Pate Jr. (N.C.)

South Atlantic Council

The South Atlantic Council includes members from the states of Florida (east coast), Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The appointees for 2009 fill obligatory seats for Florida and Georgia and two at-large seats.

Obligatory seats:
Benjamin C. Hartig III (Fla.)
*Charles Duane Harris (Ga.)

At-Large:
Charles M. Phillips (Ga.)
*Benjamin M. “Mac” Currin (N.C.)

Caribbean Council

The Caribbean Council includes members from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The appointees for 2009 fill an obligatory seat for the U.S. Virgin Islands and one at-large seat.

Obligatory seat:
Carlos F. Farchette (USVI)

At-Large:
*Marcos R. Hanke (Puerto Rico)

Gulf Council

The Gulf Council includes members from the states of Alabama, Florida (west coast), Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The appointees for 2009 fill obligatory seats for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and two at-large seats.

Obligatory seats:
*Robert P. Gill (Fla.)
John R. Greene Jr. (Ala.)
Damon P. McKnight (La.)

At-Large:
*Harlon H. Pearce (La.)
*Thomas D. McIlwain (Miss.)

Pacific Council

The Pacific Council includes members from the states of California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The appointees for 2009 fill obligatory seats for California and Oregon and two at-large seats. The appointee for the Tribal seat will be announced at a later date.

Obligatory seat:
Dorothy M. Lowman (Ore.)
David M. Crabbe (Calif.)

At-large:
William L. Brizendine II (Calif.)
*Dale D. Myer (Wash.)

North Pacific Council

The North Pacific Council includes members from the states of Alaska and Washington. The appointees for 2009 fill obligatory seats for Alaska and Washington.

Obligatory seats:
*David W. Benson (Wash.)
*Robert E. “Ed” Dersham (Alaska)
Howard D. Hull (Alaska)

Western Pacific Council

The Western Pacific Council includes members from the American-flagged Pacific islands of American Samoa and Guam, the state of Hawaii and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The appointees for 2009 fill obligatory seats for Guam, American Samoa and Hawaii.

Obligatory seats:
*Manuel P. Duenas II  (Guam)
*Stephen Haleck (American Samoa)
*Sean C. Martin (Hawaii)

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