MAFAC Meeting April 2000
The Marine Fisheries Advisor), Committee (MAFAC) met at The Westin Francis Marion ilotel ill Charleston, South Carolina, April 18-20, 2000. The following is a Summary Report of that meeting presented in chronological order.
April 18, 2000
Rod Moore, Industry Vice Chair, opened the meeting by welcoming the members and reviewing the agenda for the week. Committee and workgroup meetings followed to allow groups to prepare and frame their agenda items for presentation to the Full Committee. The following committees/workgroups met in open session: Budget Committee, chaired by Suzanue !udiee!lo-Martley, with NMFS liaison, Alan Risenhoover; the l.egislative Committee, chaired by Jeff Pike, with NOAA liaison, Peter Hill; the Fisheries Overcapacity Snbcommittee, chaired by Susan Hanna; and the Vessel Monitoring System Workgroup, chaired by ,lack Dunnigan.
April 19, 2000
Full Committee Assembly
The Full Committee Meeting was opened by Rod Moore, Industry Vice Chair, introducing and welcoming two guests: Dr. Fred [!oiland, Director of the Marine Resources Research Institute, who would he providing a tour that evening of the South Carolina Wildlife & Marine Resources facility in Charleston, SC; and Mr. Thomas Gary, the new Director of the Office of Operations, Management and information in Silver Spring, M D, who transferred from the Department's National Institute of Science and Technology.
Penny Dalton, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, addressed the Committee announcing the latest personnel changes in NOAA Fisheries which included the departure of Dr. Gary Matlock, the upcoming retirement of Steve Pennoyer, his replacement,
Dr. Jim Balsiger, and the reassignment of Dr. Brad Brown who will work with Minority Serving Institutions. Ms. Dalton discussed the NOAA Fisheries independent budget review process being conducted by Dr. Raymond Kammer, Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and NOAA, NMFS and other representatives outside the agency. The review is an assessment of the NOAA Fisheries budget requirements for FY 2000 and FY 2001 to identify how money is being spent, priorities for spending and the future needs of the agency. MAFAC members will be a part of the interview process for the review. Carol Bailew, the lead member of the team from NOAA Fisheries, will make a presentation about the process to MAFAC the next day. In addition, Penny discussed the initiation of the FY 2002 budget process and projections for the budget 10 years from now, welcoming MAFAC's participation.
Also addressed was the current status of the legislative initiatives of the agency such as Magnuson-Stevens and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). The MMPA draft bill cleared through NMFS will be available for review and comment to members in the very near future.
The final discussion dealt with improving the "collective interaction" of MAFAC with the agency to maximize MAFAC's usefulness. This issue will be addressed further in the "Views Paper" which was requested by Dr. Baker to be developed for the transition Administration.
Teamware Extranet and Quick Place Presentation.
To initiate the discussion, Rod Moore asked the members to comment on their experience using the Quick Place Program. The consensus was that the system was extremely slow to operate and discouraged participation. Kevin Holland of the Information Management Division, NOAA Fisheries, provided a new option to test called "In-Tandum." This new Teamware software allows for uploading a file from existing software and should operate faster and be more responsive to those that have slow modems. A new Computer Workgroup was formed to test the proposed system as well as determine what features are necessary or not, to serve the needs of the members. Participating on this Workgroup with Kevin are Pat Tummons, Bobbi Walker, Betty Wenner, and Kate Wynne.
Outreach and Communications Presentation/Workgroup
Bobbi Walker, Chair, introduced Laurel Bryant, Outreach Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries, who provided an update on the current and future outreach and communications activities of the agency. Initiatives include the establishment of a National Constituent Data Base; the development of an employee intra-web system designed as a centralized integrated repository of information necessary and available for employees use; the roll out of the new NOAA Fisheries identity mark and video of the mission and functions of the agency; the continuation of participation at shows and conferences of Fisheries exhibits; the improvement of the tracking system and quality of the correspondence in Fisheries; the marketing of the budget fact sheets; the development of a new NOAA Fisheries web page which is more user friendly and appealing; and, the employment of a structured national cooperative research program for Fisheries. The following discussion included comments and suggestions by the members in preparation for the Workgroup's final report and recommendations to be presented the next day. Some topics included methods for public education, increasing partnerships (especially in cooperative research), use of regional/field personnel in outreach, and user friendly web sites.
Steering Committee's "Views Paper" Scoping
Rod Moore led the discussion, based on Dr. Baker's request at the last meeting, that MAFAC develop a "Views Paper" to present to the next Administration. The Steering Committee has oversight for the final development and composition of the paper. The first consideration of the group was to determine the process, format and content of the paper. Various approaches were suggested by the members such as: using previous minutes to extract major topics; reviewing the Strategic Plan as background information; looking at what is right, wrong, and can be improved within Fisheries; developing outlines of general subject matters by subcommittees; and, defining the role and purpose of MAFAC and its usefulness.
The general approach adopted by the group to schedule and structure the Paper includes the following: 1) between now and July 15 each committee and workgroup will draft its topical section for submission to the Steering Committee; 2) between July 15 and October 1, the Steering Committee will meld the components together into a draft to mail out one month before the fall meeting for review; and 3) at the fall meeting the draft paper will be reviewed by the Full Committee and put into final form. The content of the Paper will include an Introduction and significant topics relative to priorities and recommendations related to each of the committee and workgroup areas. General topic areas include legislative (legal), budget, overcapacity, outreach, management, science, enforcement, Vessel Monitoring Systems, the role and effectiveness of MAFAC to the Department, and MAFAC's view of where NOAA Fisheries should be in 5 to 10 years.
Vessel Monitoring Workgroup (VMS) Report
Jack Dunnigan served as Chair of the Workgroup in the absence of Brooks Takenaka. His final report included a review of the history of VMS activity in MAFAC and recommendations for the future. NOAA Fisheries had requested the assistance of MAFAC in developing national policy guidelines for the implementation and design of VMS systems.
The process for that assistance and guidance has taken many reiterations over the past few meetings. The current process agreed to by the Workgroup includes the following: review and edit the VMS Issue Paper developed by the Office of Sustainable Fisheries to use as a background and "talking paper" in future meetings; distribute this Paper to the Council members nationwide in association with the Commissions; conduct VMS public meetings as part of Council stakeholder workshops to receive feedback on the issues; and finally, compile a summary of the comments from the meetings into a draft policy statement to present to MAFAC at the fall meeting.
To date the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission have held workshops on VMS and received valuable input into such issues as privacy and confidentiality, costs, use of VMS as an enforcement tool, and regional versus national standards.
It was recommended that the VMS Workgroup be maintained at least until the next meeting and that the Full Committee provide a final vote on the policy statement paper. Also recommended was that the Working Group coordinate with the Office of Sustainable Fisheries and the Office of Enforcement in the activities associated with the final report. (See attached Final Report #1)
The report as submitted by Jack Dunnigan was adopted by the Full Committee.
Fisheries Overcapacity Subcommittee Report
Susan Hanna, Chair, provided the following report to the Full Committee for a vote. In summary, the subcommittee discussed how it can most effectively contribute to the comprehensive implementation plan for capacity reduction. Several issues were identified that are recommended to be addressed explicitly in the plan:
The Subcommittee recommended that these questions be included in the Chair's Report to Dr. Baker and that he be asked to seek a response from the agency before MAFAC's next meeting, if not sooner. (See attached Final Report #2)
It was moved and seconded that the report be approved as submitteal
In addition, Susan Hanna, Chair, will contact Bruce Morehead, Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, about the report in a parallel track with the letter to Dr. Baker.
Steering Committee Report
Rod Moore provided the Steering Committee Report to the members. The dates for the next meeting would be during Election Week, from November 6-8, 2000. The majority of the meeting agenda would be dedicated to the development of the "Views Paper" requested by Dr. Baker for the next Administration. The first preference for location would be at York College in Jamaica, New York, dependent on the approval of Dr. Charles Kidd, President of the College and member of MAFAC. This location would allow for interaction with students of the College with MAFAC. The second location option is Portland, Maine. After some further discussion regarding various logistics and arrangements, the Steering Committee Report was approved as submitreeL
Welcome by Carol Ballew
Carol Bailew, Deputy Director, Southeast Region, welcomed the members to Charleston on behalf of Bill Hogarth, Southeast Regional Administrator, who was on travel status to Hawaii. Carol mentioned that the Southeast Region works with 3 of the 8 Councils as well as 2 of the 3 Interstate Marine Commissions. She will be joining the group for dinner in the evening.
Legislative Committee Report
Jeff Pike, Committee Chair, presented the Legislative Committee Report. At the Committee meeting the previous day Peter Hi!l, NOAA Legislative Affairs, provided the group with an overview of pending legislative initiatives on Capitol Hill. These included the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, striped bass, shark fin, and coral reefs.
The Committee discussed Magnuson's IQs policies and positions at the national and regional levels, since the pending moratorium might be lifted. The Committee agreed/proposed that the moratorium should be lifted, provided that national policy be included in the Act; that current limitations of IQs be maintained that stipulate they are not a property right, not compensable and may be revoked; that national policy amendments include a list of provisions; and that the regional fishery management councils address a variety of issues. After extensive discussion on the above issues, the Committee deferred its final motion for approval until the following day.
April 20, 2000
Independent Budget Review: Kammer Report
Carol Ballew, Deputy Regional Administrator, Southeast Regional Office, presented an overview of the Independent Budget Review commissioned by NOAA Fisheries and the Undersecretary of NOAA. Dr. Raymond Kammer, Director of the Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology, agreed to lead the initiative. This independent study will assess the fiscal resources necessary to execute the Fisheries statutory requirements, the basic science and management mandates, and the human resources necessary to carry out these mandates. In addition, the group will analyze the NOAA Fisheries organization and infrastructure at Headquarters and the regions, including how allocations are made and how priorities are established. The report is expected within 60-90 days.
MAFAC members then were asked to participate in a group interview by Carol that asked a series of questions about current operations, research and facilities (ORF account) in place, how much ORF costs, and where we need to be. An extensive exchange ensued related to such areas as adequacy of fiscal and personnel resources, highest priority program areas, what programs could be eliminated or reduced, areas that are not being addressed, the allowance of meaningful input into the budget formulation process, the agency's responsiveness to clients and services, and the agency's report card for the past 3 to 5 years.
A motion that the Administrator supply MAFAC with a copy of the study when completed was made and passed.
Outreach Workgroup Report
Bobbi Walker provided the report for the Workgroup. Recommendations to the agency included the following: NMFS needs a funded outreach program; a national constituent data base starting with the regional offices needs to be assembled; an internal tracking capability needs to be developed to provide timely and accurate responses; improvements to the NMFS web site for constituent information should be developed; regional employees need to work closer with constituents in the field; and the agency needs to interface better for research, communications and education with the states and private sector. (See attached Final Report #3)
A motion to approve the report as submitted was made andpassed
Budget Committee Report
Suzanne Martley, Chair, provided the Budget Report to the group. The report addressed two major areas: the NOAA Fisheries independent budget review and the budget priorities for 2002. Regarding the budget review, the committee recommended that Dr. Parson's replacement be outside of the Department, that the core report team be expanded outside the agency, that the structure of the review consider the "audiences" and their interests, and that the visuals clearly relate the "whole story" to the audience.
The second topic focused on the FY 2002 budget priorities. The Committee provided a list of priority areas under the general umbrella of the following: improving the information base for fisheries conservation and management; linking research to management needs; serving constituents; and protecting habitat. Stopping the erosion of NOAA Fisheries current level of service is a basic priority. (See attached Final Report #4)
A motion to adopt the report as submitted was passed
Legislative Committee Report (continued)
Dick Gutting continued the discussion in Jeff Pike's absence by making a motion to approve the oral report submitted by Jeff Pike the previous day.
The motion was passed.
Discussion continued regarding the attached Legislative Report (#5) that was handed out to the members the day before. The group reviewed the text and after some rewording voted on items #1, #2, and #3 and #4 (together) as separate items for clarity, based on the discussions. On item #1 which stated that the current moratorium on IQs be lifted provided that national policy be included in the Act, the vote was six to two. On item #2 which stated that the current limitations be maintained - not a property right, not compensable and may be revoked, the vote was eight to zero. On item #3 which states that the national IQ policy amendments include a series of conditions and item #4 which lists issues that should be addressed by the regional fishery management councils, vote was six to zero.
Rod Moore concluded the meeting by encouraging the Committee and Workgroup Chairs to submit their agenda topics to the Full Committee before the meetings to allow members to prepare for the discussion as much as possible and as appropriate.
The meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
Date: May 25, 2000
ATTENDEES: MAFAC MEETING
CHARLESTON, SC APRIL 18-20, 2000