The Commerce Department today announced the appointment of 20 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with NOAA Fisheries to manage ocean fish stocks. The new and reappointed council members begin their three-year terms on August 11.
The councils were established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to prepare fishery management plans for marine fish stocks in their regions. NOAA Fisheries works closely with the councils as plans are developed, and then reviews, approves and implements the fishery management plans. Council members represent diverse groups, including commercial and recreational fishing industries, environmental interests and academia, and carry out the act’s requirements to end overfishing, rebuild fish stocks, and manage them sustainably.
“We are looking forward to working with our new and returning council members,” said Sam Rauch, acting NOAA assistant administrator for fisheries.” With annual catch limits in place for all federally managed species and 32 stocks rebuilt since 2000, collaboration between NOAA and the councils is more important than ever in order to continue this positive momentum.”
Each year, approximately one-third of the total 72 appointed members to the eight regional councils are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. The Secretary selects members from nominations submitted by the governors of fishing states, territories and tribal governments.
Council members are appointed to both obligatory (state-specific) and at-large (regional) seats. Council members serve a three-year term and can be reappointed to serve three consecutive terms.