Commerce Department appoints marine fisheries advisors to national committee

New Members from American Samoa, Florida, and Georgia

April 21, 2011

The Department of Commerce today announced the appointment of three new public advisors charged with counseling the Secretary of Commerce and NOAA on national saltwater fishery management and laws that protect marine mammals, sea turtles and other ocean life.

Jim Cook, a longline fishing boat owner and the vice president of Pacific Ocean Producers, leads an early morning tour for MAFAC members and NOAA Fisheries staff at the Honolulu Fish Auction.

Jim Cook, a longline fishing boat owner and the vice president of Pacific Ocean Producers, leads an early morning tour for MAFAC members and NOAA Fisheries staff at the Honolulu Fish Auction.

High Resolution (Credit: Heidi Lovett / NOAA Fisheries Service)

The three new members are part of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, or MAFAC, the only federal advisory panel charged with making recommendations to NOAA and the Secretary of Commerce on the department’s living marine resource responsibilities.

MAFAC members draw on their expertise to evaluate and assess national programs, recommend priorities, and provide their views on issues concerning the Magnuson-Stevens Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, aquaculture, recreational fishing, and ocean governance.

Established in 1971, MAFAC consists of 15 to 21 individuals who are selected through a comprehensive public recruitment process. MAFAC members represent commercial and recreational fisheries interests, environmental organizations, academic institutions, tribes, and consumer groups from a balance of U.S. geographical regions. Member terms are three years, and members may serve two consecutive terms.

MAFAC meets twice a year with supplementary subcommittee meetings as determined necessary by the chair.

The three new members are:

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