The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) met at the Wyndham Sugar
Bay Resort, in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, November 6-8, 2001. Following
is a Summary Report of that meeting presented in chronological order.
Tuesday, November 6, 2001
Rod Moore, Industry Vice Chair, opened the meeting by welcoming the members and reviewing
the agenda for the week, including selection of a new Industry Vice Chair and recommended
changes to MAFAC's Charter, which is due to be renewed by March 2002. Dr. William (Bill) T.
Hogarth gave an update on personnel changes and a review of priority initiatives including
regulatory streamlining and agency improvements to comply with the National Environmental
Policy Act, the National Academy of Public Administration Review, international affairs
reorganization within the agency and development of an agency team on aquaculture. Bruce
Morehead gave a presentation on the status of Magnuson Stevens Act reauthorization, and the
agency's effort to establish on-line rule-making (E-Comments). Dieter Busch presented a
proposal to MAFAC for the establishment of a task force on Ecosystem-Based Management.
And a special invited guest, Dr. Daniel Botkin, University of California Santa Barbara, facilitated
a day's discussion to develope a working definition for "sustainability".
NMFS Personnel Changes:
Personnel changes included the designation of Dr. Nancy Thompson as the
Director of the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Dr. Doug DeMaster as the
Director of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Chris Rogers as head of the
Highly Migratory Division within the Office of Sustainable Fisheries, Dr. Rebecca
Lent as the Deputy AA for Regulatory Programs within NMFS, and John Oliver as
the Deputy AA for Management at Fisheries. The establishment of an Office of
Constituent Services was also mentioned. With regard to changes at NOAA, Dr.
Hogarth mentioned the pending confirmation of Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher
Jr.as the new Undersecretary of Oceans and Atmosphere. He also noted that Secretary
Evans is supportive of the agency and its efforts toward improvements and has
re-delegated all Fishery actions back down to the AA to help speed actions along.
Selection of a new Industry Vice Chair:
Maggie Raymond nominated Alvin Osterback. Jeff Pike seconded the motion.
By unanimous vote Alvin Osterback was elected as the new Industry Vice Chair
of MAFAC, beginning at the next meeting scheduled for the week of April 22,
Selection of an Industry Co-Vice Chair:
Alvin Osterback nominated Maggie Raymond to serve as his Co-Vice Chair.
Melvin Moon seconded the motion. By unanimous vote Maggie Raymond was elected
as Industry Co-Vice Chair.
The MAFAC Charter is due to be renewed
March of 2002. A significant number of members are due to be replaced by September
2002. There is concern that this will cause problems both in terms of getting
replacements through the confirmation process in time, but also in terms of
providing a consistency in the operation of the Committee as a relevant advisory
body to the Secretary. As such, a number of important changes to the Charter
were made to provide for staggered transition process and ensure a consistent
level of membership. Also, the addition of a Industry Vice-Chair was established
to help share the work load for members serving as Industry Chair.
Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization & Electronic Rulemaking:
Bruce Morehead, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries gave a
presentation on NMFS initiative to provide for electronic rule-making. This
was presented as the first step in a longer-term project to modernize the on-line
information capacity within Fisheries. The MAFAC was very supportive and encouraging
of these efforts.
Mr. Morehead also discussed the status of the administration's latest draft proposal for
reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Discussions
featured overfishing, individual quotas, and capacity reduction. MAFAC members urged that the
administration develop a policy statement on capacity reduction laying out whether reduction
will occur and under what standards. MAFAC members also suggested dropping the proposed
changes in enforcement language as they believe the proposals are unnecessary and that
enforcement can be improved by making regulations more clear.
Wednesday, November 7, 2001
After reviewing NMFS plans for developing recommendations and guidance
on how to implement ecosystem-based approach management, the MAFAC adopted the
"Move to form a MAFAC Task Force of no more than fifteen people to develop
and report back to MAFAC at their Fall 2002 meeting details pertaining to
implementation of ecosystem based approaches to marine resources management."
The MAFAC's Subcommittee on Science met to develop a list of candidate names that were
submitted to Fisheries before the meeting adjourned. The Committee was enthusiastic about the
project and a number of members offered to commit time to ensure the project's deadline could
A Working Definition of Sustainability:
In recent years the term 'sustainability' has increased in popularity as
an objective in natural resource management. However, there is no universally
accepted definition of what managing for sustainability is. Dr. Daniel Botkin,
Research Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University
of California, Santa Barbara, facilitated a day's long discussion to develop
a working definition of "Sustainability". The MAFAC determined that it must
be categorically defined along four separate axioms: biology, society, economic,
and legal. The four categorical definitions were developed:
Spring 2002 Meeting:
The Steering Committee met over lunch and scheduled the next meeting for
the week of April 22, 2002 to be held in New England. Portland, Maine is the
first choice with Providence Rhode Island as the fall-back location.
Thursday, November 8, 2001
MAFAC continued the previous day's discussion and fine tuned the language of the four-categorical definition into the following:
Biology - harvest is managed to maintain populations at sizes within
defined ranges that take into account natural environmental stochasticity
and observed effects of management and other human activities.
Society - maintain or enhance diverse societal attributes of the
fishery (cultural, aesthetic, spiritual, religious) for a specified planning
time horizon (may include but not be limited to ceremonial use, viewing aquatic
species, fishing community heritage, dietary benefits, community diversity,
ecosystem benefits, subsistence harvesting, area closures, promote environmental
Economic - the fishery constitutes a viable economic endeavor for
a specified planning time horizon and yields a positive return to society
measured as cumulative economic output that remains within a defined range;
Legal - the fishery must exist within a governance structure that
ensures system integrity, including but not limited to regulatory authorities,
treaties, constraints, requirements and infrastructure.
The MAFAC adjourned at 12:30. The Science Subcommittee convened at the meeting's end
developed a list of nominees to serve as the MAFAC's Task Force on the Ecosystem
Management initiative (attached).
Laurel G. Bryant
Designated Federal Officer
- Dr. William T. Hogarth
- Dr. Bonnie L. Brown
- Richard E. Gutting, Jr.
- Elizabeth (Liz) Hamilton
- Donald B. Kent
- Melvin E. Moon, Jr.
- Rodney (Rod) H. Moore
- Alvin D. Osterback, Sr.
- Jeffrey R. Pike
- Dr. LaVerne E. Ragster
- Margaret (Maggie) J. Raymond
- Patricia Tummons
- Dr. Percy M. Washington
- Bruce Morehead
- Dieter Busch
- Dr. Daniel Botkin
- Virdin Brown
- Laurel Bryant
- Tywanna Otts
- Jack Dunnigan
- Randy Fisher
- Larry Simpson
- Dr. Susan S. Hanna
- Suzanne Iudicello-Martley
- Dr. Charles C. Kidd, Sr.
- James M. Leland, Jr.
- Dr. Elizabeth Wenner
- Kathleen M. Wynne.