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Edward (Ted) P. Ames

Senior Advisor, Penobscot East Resource Center

Stonington, Maine

Ted Ames is a long-time coastal boat fisherman who has fished for a variety of species, including groundfish, scallops, lobster, shrimp, and pelagics. He also works as an applied scientist, studying marine ecosystems and fisheries; was the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Award in 2005 and an honorary doctorate in 2015. His research bridges fishing, science, and marine conservation disciplines and is best known for his work detailing the population structure of cod in the Gulf of Maine. Ted is a founding member serving on the Penobscot East Resource Center Board of Directors, a non-profit facilitating community-based resource management to secure a viable future for fishing communities in eastern Maine.

Subcommittees: Commerce, Protected Resources, Ecosystem Approach

Term Expires: August 2018 (2nd Term) 




Terri Lei Beideman, MAFAC Vice Chair

CEO, Vast Array Corporation

Forked River, New Jersey

Terri Lei Beideman is the CEO of Vast Array Corporation, a management, administrative, and project management firm specializing in U.S. fisheries. Through her firm she serves as the Executive Director of Blue Water Fishermen’s Association. Terri has more than 30 years of experience in U.S. and international fishery management issues, especially highly migratory species. She co-owned the commercial fishing vessel Terri Lei for over 12 years and is a member of the U.S. ICCAT Advisory Committee, Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel, and the Atlantic Pelagic Longline Take Reduction Team. Terri was instrumental in managing cooperative research projects that demonstrated the efficacy of circle-style hooks to reduce encounters and harm to incidentally caught sea turtles.

Subcommittee: Commerce

Term Expires: October 2017 (1st Term)



Julie Bonney

Executive Director, Alaska Groundfish Data Bank, Inc 

Kodiak, Alaska

Julie Bonney is the owner and Executive Director of Alaska Groundfish Data Bank, a consulting, research, management, and public relations firm specializing in commercial fisheries and related issues, especially related to Kodiak-based shoreside trawler and processor businesses. She has been a leader in efforts to reduce bycatch in Gulf of Alaska trawl fisheries through cooperative research and has worked on many fishery management issues including catch shares, electronic monitoring and protected species. Julie currently serves on several North Pacific Fishery Management Council committees and is a board member of the North Pacific Fisheries Research Foundation, Marine Conservation Alliance and the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce.

Subcommittees: Strategic Planning & Budget, Commerce (Co-Chair), Ecosystem Approach, Executive

Term Expires:  February 2018 (2nd Term)



Richen (Dick) M. Brame 

Atlantic States Fisheries Director, Coastal Conservation Association

Wilmington, North Carolina

Dick Brame is the Fisheries Director for the Coastal Conservation Association and was a member of the MAFAC Recreational Fishing Working Group before his appointment to MAFAC. He serves on the South Atlantic Councils Coastal Pelagics AP and is a member of the MRIP Operations Team. He has broad professional knowledge of Atlantic Coast fisheries, fisheries statistics, and management and has worked on educating anglers on fishery management issues and wildlife habitat conservation needs. Since 1983, he has worked for a variety of state or national fishing and hunting conservation groups, including the Izaak Walton League, North Carolina Wildlife Federation, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, and Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation. He holds BS and MS degrees in Fisheries and Wildlife Science from NC State University.

Subcommittees: Ecosystem Approach, Recreational Fishing

Term Expires: February 2018 (2nd Term)


Heather Brandon 

Senior Program Officer, World Wildlife Fund 

Juneau, Alaska

Heather Brandon is the Senior Program Officer with the World Wildlife Fund’s Arctic Program. She has over 20 years of experience in both policy and marine resource management. She works on marine protected species and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing issues in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas, including with colleagues in Russia and Canada. Heather was formerly a fishery management policy analyst with the Pacific Fishery Management Council, program officer for the Juneau Economic Development Council, ocean policy coordinator for the State of Alaska; and marine policy analyst with NOAA Fisheries. She earned her BS in biology from the University of Oregon, and her Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from University of Washington.

Subcommittees: Protected Resources, Ecosystem Approach

Term Expires: October 2017 (1st Term)



Columbus Hall Brown, Sr. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Retired 

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Columbus Brown retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after 35 years of Distinguished Service as a biologist, supervisor, and administrator. As a special assistant to the Regional Director, he was the designee to the region’s three Fishery Management Councils (Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean) and two interstate fisheries commissions. He also served as the Department of the Interior’s Representative on the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and as liaison to the Georgia Aquarium. Since retirement, Columbus was a member of the Ecosystems and the Marine Reserves Science and Statistical Committees of the Gulf of Mexico Council. He was engaged in training professionals and paraprofessionals prior to deployment to the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on evidence collection, protection of sensitive lands, and wildlife recovery. Columbus serves on the Ecosystems Approach and Protected Resources Subcommittees, as well as, the Climate and Marine Resources Task Force.

Subcommittees: Protected Resources, Ecosystem Approach

Term Expires: October 2018 (2nd Term)



Phillip Dyskow 

Yamaha Marine Group, Retired 

Marco Island, Florida

Phil Dyskow is a Senior Advisor to the President of the Yamaha Marine Group, Yamaha Motor Corp. USA and an avid recreational fisherman. He joined Yamaha in 1981, became the company’s first Marine Group President in 1996, and retired from that position in 2010. He serves or has served on a number of Boards: currently, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), NMMA Engine Manufacturers Division, and Center for Coastal Conservation. In the past, Phil served on the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. He is a member of the Coastal Conservation Association and past member of the Kenai River Classic National Advisory Committee.

Subcommittee: Recreational Fishing

Term Expires:  April 2017 (2nd Term)

Raimundo Espinoza

Environmental Consultant

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Raimundo Espinoza is currently an Environmental Consultant in Puerto Rico, Cuba and the wider Caribbean. He successfully established the Nature Conservancy’s operation in Puerto Rico, was their founding Cuba program Director, and became the first-ever staff fully dedicated to the organization’s work in the Cuba. In this role, Raimundo facilitated the historic first government to government action between the US and Cuba, led by the Everglades National Park Superintendent. He’s served as an advising delegate of the Puerto Rican government at the Caribbean Challenge Initiative and has closely collaborated with commercial fishers, local NGOs, and Governments across the Caribbean and Latin America in creating unique opportunities to further conservation actions on the ground and sea. Raimundo has served on the Caribbean Fisheries Management Council’s Outreach and Education Advisory Panel and the Puerto Rico District Advisory Panel.

Term Expires: April 2019 (1st Term)


Erika Feller

Director, Marine and Coastal Conservation, National Fish & WIldlife Foundation

Washington, D.C.

Erika Feller serves as the Director for Marine and Coastal Conservation at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) where she oversees a variety of national oceans related grant making programs. 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 NFWF, Erika served as Director for North American Fisheries at The Nature Conservancy, Deputy Associate Director for Ecosystem Restoration at the Council on Environmental Quality, and as Senior Legislative Assistant to Representative Wayne Gilchrest, as well as a Sea Grant Fellow.  Her educational background is in resource economics.  

Term Expires: November 2018 (1st Term)    

Elizabeth (Liz) Hamilton

Executive Director, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association 

Oregon City, Oregon

Liz Hamilton is the founding Executive Director of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, a trade organization of over 300 sportfishing-related businesses that works on coast-wide resource management issues. She has worked to improve the status of listed salmonids and the reopening of fisheries that were closed for more than 30 years. Liz has worked on State of Oregon, Governor-appointed salmon recovery and forestry-related boards and the boards of For the Sake of the Salmon, National Wildlife Federation, and Save Our Wild Salmon. She is also the State of Oregon’s advisor to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and a member of the Habitat Committee the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Subcommittees: Protected Resources, Ecosystem Approach, Recreational Fishing

Term Expires: February 2018 (2nd Term)



Micah McCarty 

Executive Officer, Nisqually Tribal Council 

Olympia, Washington

Micah McCarty is Executive Officer of Nisqually Tribal Counciland Chair of the First Stewards Board, which works to unite indigenous voices to collaboratively advance adaptive climate change strategies to sustain cultures and strengthen America’s resiliency to climate change. He is formerly the Chairman of the Makah Tribal Council, a Makah Whaling Commissioner, and appointed member of the Governance Coordinating Committee to the National Ocean Council. He works as a liaison between indigenous communities and the broader political system on environmental and energy issues. Micah has worked to strengthen the response to oil spills in coastal waters, develop marine planning policies for the Makah Tribal, and protect tribal whaling rights.

Subcommittee: Ecosystem Approach

Term Expires: February 2018 (2nd Term)

Peter Moore 

Stakeholder Liaison, Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System

Newark, Delaware

Peter 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. Peter 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.

Term Expires: November 2018 (1st Term)    



Julie Morris, MAFAC Chair 

Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, New College of Florida 

Sarasota, Florida

Julie Morris serves as Vice-Chair for MAFAC, and is the Chair of the Protected Resources Committee. She is the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs in the Provost’s Office at New College of Florida, a public liberal arts college in Sarasota, Florida. Julie served three terms as member of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council where she worked on catch share programs, ending overfishing, turtle bycatch, reef fish, and protected habitat issues. Additionally, she is a former Commissioner and Chair of both the Florida Game & Freshwater Fish Commission and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Subcommittees: Protected Resources (Chair), Ecosystem Approach, Executive

Term Expires: April 2017 (2nd Term)



Mike Okoniewski

Pacific Seafood Group 

Woodland, Washington

Mike Okoniewski has been the General & Regional Manager for 20 years with Pacific Seafood, one of the largest seafood companies in North America with extensive holdings along the West Coast in the U.S. and Canada. He has 40 years of experience working in seafood processing and distribution and has extensive experience in fisheries science, management, and the long term sustainability of fishery resources and healthy coastal communities. Mike is active on numerous committees, advisory panels, and working groups for NOAA Fisheries and both the Pacific and North Pacific Councils.

Subcommittee: Commerce

Term Expires: October 2017 (1st Term)

Jim Parsons

Owner, Troutlodge, Inc.

Sumner, Washington

James 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. James 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.

Term Expires: November 2018 (1st Term)    


Harlon Pearce

Owner/Operator, Harlon's LA Fish LLC

New Orleans, Louisiana

As owner and operator of Harlon’s LA Fish LLC, a seafood processing and distribution company, Harlon 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. Harlon 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.

Term Expires: November  2018 (1st Term)    


Robert Rheault 

Executive Director, East Coast Shellfish Growers Association 

Wakefield, Rhode Island

Dr. Bob Rheault is the Executive Director of East Coast Shellfish Growers Association which represents over 1,000 small shellfish farms in rural towns from Maine to Florida.He is an adjunct professor at the University of Rhode Island Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Veterinary Services and consults on a variety of shellfish aquaculture projects. Bob's research focuses on the ecosystem services associated with shellfish aquaculture and nutrient reduction strategies to mitigate eutrophication. Bob holds a designpatent on shellfish nursery systems and has published papers and book chapters on shellfish culture methods.

Subcommittees: Commerce, Strategic Planning & Budget

Term Expires: February 2018 (2nd Term)


Va'amua Henry Sesepasara 

Special Advisor to the Governor, American Samoa Government 

Pago Pago, American Samoa

Henry Sesepasara is presently a Special Advisor to the American Samoa Governor in regards to fishery matters concerning local, national and international fishery regulations and treaties. He was a Member in the American Samoa House of Representatives for six years. He also served as the Director of the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources for a total of 16 years, and represented American Samoa on Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. In the previous years before he became the Director of DMWR in 1977, he worked in fisheries and resource management since the early 1970s.

Henry enjoys recreational fishing for big game fish, and subsistence fishing for bottomfish species offshore and from shore for family use. He also occasionally goes longline fishing on a commercial alia (traditional fishing vessel) to observe and participate in that fishery.


Term Expires: April  2017 (2nd Term)



Peter Shelley 

Senior Counsel and Acting President, Conservation Law Foundation 

Marblehead, Massachusetts

Peter Shelley is the Senior Counsel, Vice President and the lead voice on the regional and national fishery management work of the Conservation Law Foundation, where he has worked for over 30 years. He Peter has been active with the New England Council since 1990 and works with fishermen to build new community-based models for fisheries management. He is currently focused on climate change, its impacts on New England fish and fishing communities, and how management can be responsive and resilient to ecological challenges. In addition to fisheries, Peter works to restore New England marine estuaries, and has served on the Marine Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

Subcommittee: Ecosystem Approach

Term Expires: October 2017 (1st Term)

Pamela Yochem

Senior Research Scientist and Executive Vice President, Hubbs Sea World Research Institute 

San Diego, California

Dr. Pam Yochem is the Senior Scientist and Executive Vice President of the Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute and has studied the population biology, behavioral ecology, and health of marine vertebrates for over 30 years. Pam is affiliated faculty at the Wildlife Health Center at the University of California, Davis and an adjunct professor of biology at the University of San Diego. She assisted in the establishment of the Center for Bay and Coastal Dynamics, a research consortium involving the Port of San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego State University, and Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, and serves on the Advisory Board and Scientific Advisory Committee for California’s Oiled Wildlife Care Network.

Subcommittees:  Commerce, Protected Resources, Ecosystem Approach (Chair), Executive

Term Expires: February 2018 (2nd Term)