Stay connected with us
around the nation »

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for FishNews

Office of Policy

Phone Number: 

Joshua Gange
Marine Habitat Resource Specialist

Jessica Kondel
Senior Policy Advisor

Heidi Lovett
Policy Analyst 

Jennifer Lukens
Director, Office of Policy

Heather Sagar
Senior Policy Advisor

Kristina Trotta
Policy Analyst



Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee

 Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee

Next Meetings: 

February 1, 2016 - Teleconference/Silver Spring, MD

April 25 -27, 2016 -  Portland, OR 

NEWS:  Secretary of Commerce Appoints Four New Committee Members to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee

(November 12, 2015) Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has announced the appointment of four new advisors to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, bringing the group’s membership to the full complement of 21. The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, or MAFAC, advises the Secretary of Commerce on all living marine resource matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce.

MAFAC members draw on their expertise to evaluate and recommend priorities and needed changes in national programs and policies, including the periodic reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. The members represent a wide spectrum of fishing, aquaculture, protected resources, environmental, academic, tribal, state, consumer, and other related national interests from across the U.S., and ensure the nation’s living marine resource policies and programs meet the needs of these stakeholders.

NOAA Fisheries greatly appreciates the contributions of Anthony (Tony) Chatwin, Paul Clampitt, Ken Franke, and Keith Rizzardi who were active participants and leaders on MAFAC for six years.  Their terms ended in October 2015.

The four new members are:

Erika Feller, Washington, District of Columbia:  Ms. Feller serves as the Program Director for North American Fisheries for The Nature Conservancy.  She has 20 years of experience working directly with fishermen, harbormasters and government officials on innovative projects to promote sustainable fishing to meet community needs while reducing bycatch risk and protecting important fish habitat.  She previously held a seat on MAFAC (2009 – 2010) but stepped down while working at the Council on Environmental Quality as lead staff on habitat restoration.  Prior to her role at The Nature Conservancy, Ms. Feller was a Senior Legislative Assistant to Representative Wayne Gilchrest, as well as a Sea Grant Fellow.  Her educational background is in resource economics. 

Peter Moore, Newark, Delaware:  Mr. Moore is the Stakeholder Liaison for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System.  He is a trained fisheries scientist and former commercial fisherman and policy expert with experience in the production, delivery, and use of marine environmental information for management. Since 2003, he has served as Advisor to the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and the NOAA-NMFS Shad / River Herring Technical Expert Working Group. Mr. Moore has been a Partner and Director of Governmental and Scientific Affairs for Northern Pelagic Group LLC, New Bedford, MA, as well as a consultant to the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp, a leading Alaska CDQ corporation on seafood industry investments, domestic and international seafood product and market development.

James Parsons, Sumner, Washington: Mr. Parsons is a fish biologist and owner of Troutlodge, Inc. with over 30 years of experience in aquaculture.  His background in aquaculture research dates back to1978 in research genetics and research and development at numerous companies, including Weyerhaeuser, Clear Springs Foods, Pisces Investments, and Blue Lakes Trout Farms. He currently serves on the Board of the National Aquaculture Association (NAA) and chairs the NAA Marine Aquaculture Committee. Mr. Parsons also serves on several other boards, including USDA’s National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Board; Western Regional Aquaculture Center, and its Industry Advisory Committee; United States Trout Farmers Association; and USDA’s Subcommittee on Aquatic Animal Health.

Harlon Pearce, New Orleans, Louisiana: As owner and operator of Harlon’s LA Fish LLC, a seafood processing and distribution company, Mr. Pearce has more than 46 years of experience in the seafood industry.  He has been an advocate for developing strong and viable seafood industries, a “go to” source for the media and seafood events, and a guest speaker and lecturer.  He served as the Louisiana Representative on the Gulf Council for nine years, during which time he chaired the Data Collection Committee. Mr. Pearce served as the Chairman of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board for 11 years, through challenges such as hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike and the BP oil spill. He also created The Gulf Seafood Institute which works to connect Gulf producers with consumers.

MAFAC, is the only federal advisory panel charged with making recommendations to NOAA and the Secretary of Commerce on the department’s living marine resource responsibilities. In recent years, MAFAC has provided advice on the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy, coordination of consultation processes under the Endangered Species Act, aquaculture policy and research, recreational fishing policies, Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization topics, sustainable seafood certification, ocean policy, and catch shares. Member terms are three years, and members may serve two consecutive terms. 


Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) was established under a federal charter by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) on February 17, 1971, to advise the Secretary of Commerce on all living marine resource matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. MAFAC members draw on their expertise and other appropriate sources, such as the National Marine Fisheries Service, to assist in: setting national living marine resources policies; developing and implementing Departmental initiatives and programs; evaluating and recommending needed changes during reauthorization processes for the Magnuson-Stevens, the Endangered Species, and the Marine Mammal Protection Acts; and assessing other areas of primary interest to the Secretary and relevant to the mission and goals of the NOAA Fisheries Service.  The members represent a wide spectrum of fisheries, habitat, and protected resource interests,as well as environmental, academic, State, Tribal, consumer, and other related national interests.

MAFAC advice is derived from public deliberations of the Committee and is typically conveyed in meeting summaries, written findings and recommendations, and formal reports transmitted to NMFS, NOAA and the Department.  Issues for Committee deliberation are derived from matters that the Secretary, or his designee, brings to the Committee, and those topics affecting living marine resource stewardship that are of growing concern identified by the Committee. The Committee functions solely as an advisory body (complying fully with the Federal Advisory Committee Act) and is available to the Secretary on an ongoing basis as a source of expertise to be consulted in the development of fisheries policy, and generally meets twice a year.

For more information, contact: Executive Director, MAFAC


NEWS Archive


June 4, 2015 - Nominations sought for open positions on the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee.   Nominations accepted through July 20, 2015. 


January 26, 2015 - Announcing Appointments to MAFAC's NEW Climate and Marine Resources Task Force and Aquaculture Task Force 


October 20, 2014 - Secretary of Commerce Appoints Four New Committee Members to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee


October 16, 2014 - Nominations sought for two new Task Forces of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee. Applications accepted through November 17, 2014.


May 2014 - Nominations sought for open positions on the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee. Nominations accepted through July 7, 2014.


May 2014 - NOAA Announces 17 Appointments to the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee's Recreational Fisheries Working Group


March 2014 - MAFAC Seafood Certification Recommendations -Open for Public Comment


April 2013- New MAFAC Member from Hawaii Appointed

February 2013 - NOAA Announces 9 New Appointments to the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee's Recreational Fisheries Working Group     

January 2013 - MAFAC Seeking to Fill One Vacancy

August 2012 - Secretary of Commerce Appoints Two New Committee Members to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee; Reappoints Four Members

March 2012 - Secretary of Commerce Appoints 7 New Advisors to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee




Meeting Summaries

February 2016
Teleconference & in Silver Spring, Maryland

November 2015
Teleconference & in Silver Spring, Maryland

October 2015
Silver Spring, Maryland

April 2015
San Diego, California

October 2014
Silver Spring, Maryland

September 2014
Silver Spring, Maryland

June 2014
Silver Spring, Maryland

December 2013
Silver Spring, Maryland

May 2013
Washington, DC

January 2013

October 2012
Silver Spring, Maryland

August 2012

May 2012
Seattle, Washington

February 2012

October 2011
Washington, DC

June 2011

May 2011
Key West, Florida

March 2011

October 2010
Annapolis, Maryland

August 2010

June 2010
Juneau, Alaska

February 2010
Honolulu, Hawaii

November 2009
Silver Spring, Maryland

August 2009

May 2009
Monterey, California

November 2008 
New Orleans, Louisiana

July 2008 
New York, New York

December 2007
St. Pete Beach, Florida

June 2007
Washington, D.C.

July 2006
Seattle, Washington

February 2006
Dania Beach, Florida

June 2005
Washington, DC

January 2005
Honolulu, Hawaii

August 2004
Juneau, Alaska

December 2003
New York, New York

May 2003
San Diego, California

January 2003
Washington, D.C.

May 2002
Portland, Maine

November 2001
U.S. Virgin Islands

April 2001
Orange Beach, Alabama

November 2000
East Elmhurst, New York

April 2000
Charleston, South Carolina

October 1999
Washington, D.C

March 1999
La Jolla, California