U.S. task force to mull catch-share programs

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday announced it appointed members to a new Catch Share Task Force.

The task force will assist NOAA and the regional fisheries management councils as they consider and implement catch-share management programs. In meetings with the councils over then next two months, the task force will work to resolve any funding, policy, legal and infrastructure issues and submit findings and recommendations to NOAA by 1 August.

Monica Medina, senior advisor to the NOAA administrator, will lead the task force. Mark Holliday, NOAA Fisheries’ director of policy, will serve as the executive director. Justin Kenney, NOAA director of communications and external affairs, and John Gray, NOAA director of legislative affairs. are ex-officio members.

Other members of the task force include John Pappalardo, New England Fishery Management Council chairman; Lee Anderson, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council vice chairman; Eric Olson, North Pacific Fishery Management Council chairman; George Geiger, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council member; Robert Gill, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council member; David Hanson, Pacific Fishery Management Council member; Sean Martin, Western Pacific Fishery Management Council chairman; Jim Balsiger, NOAA Fisheries’ acting assistant administrator; Steve Murawski, NOAA Fisheries’ director of scientific programs and chief science advisor; John Oliver, NOAA Fisheries’ deputy assistant administrator for operations; Alan Risenhoover, NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Sustainable Fisheries director; Pat Kurkul, NOAA Fisheries’ northeast regional administrator; Roy Crabtree, NOAA Fisheries’ southeast regional administrator; and Sam Pooley, NOAA Fisheries’ Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center director.

The task force’s five objectives include developing a new NOAA policy on catch shares; providing technical and administrative support for councils to move forward with catch shares; achieving the best possible environmental and economic performance through catch-share designs; consider NOAA organizational changes; and provide advice to the under secretary on how to allocate resources to the councils.

“Transitioning to catch shares is a priority for NOAA,” said Medina. “This task force will engage stakeholders to help ensure that the regional fishery councils and NOAA implement catch shares wherever appropriate. We must all work together to end overfishing and rebuild fisheries, to improve the economics of fishing and fishing communities, and to protect the ecosystems that sustain them.”

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