US Commerce Department appoints Regional Fishery Management Council members

The U.S. Commerce Department announced on 27 June that is has made 30 appointments to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration to manage fish stocks. 

The councils, established by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, help prepare fishery management plans for each of the eight regions: New England, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Western Pacific, Pacific, and North Pacific. 

Of the councilors appointed, 29 are receiving three-year terms, starting on 11 August, that will run through to 10 August, 2021. One member, Michael K. Goto of Hawaii, is  filling a recently vacated at-large seat in the Western Pacific council and will serve out the remainder of that term through 10 August, 2020. 

The council members come from diverse backgrounds, including commercial fisheries, recreational fisheries, environmental organizations, and academic institutions. Appointments take place each year, when the U.S. Secretary of Commerce appoints roughly one-third of the 72 total council members from the eight councils. Appointments are made based on nominations from the governors of the fishing states, territories, and tribal governments. 

While the majority of councilors in some regions, such as New England, were reappointments, other councils will be gaining multiple new members. Councilors are appointed to both obligatory seats, which represent one state, and at-large seats, which represent the region. The appointments were as follows:

New England Council

The New England council includes all ocean-fronted states in New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. All five councilors were reappointed after previously sitting on the council. 

Matthew G. McKenzie, representing Connecticut; Terry A. Alexander, representing Maine; John F. Quinn, representing Massachusetts; and Eric E. Reid, representing Rhode Island; were all appointed to obligatory seats. Vincent M. Balzano, of Maine, was reappointed to an at-large seat. 

Mid-Atlantic Council

The Mid-Atlantic council represents Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. All members were reappointed to their positions. 

Adam C. Noalsky, of New Jersey; and Peter L. Defur, of Virginia; were both appointed to obligatory seats for their respective states. Anthony D. Dilernia, of New York; and Sara E. Winslow, of North Carolina; were both appointed to at-large seats. 

South Atlantic Council

The South Atlantic Council includes Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Art L. Sapp, of Florida, Kyle D. Christiansen, of Georgia; were both appointed to obligatory seats for their states. Arnold “Spud” G. Woodward, of Georgia, was appointed to an at-large seat. Anna B. Beckwith, of North Carolina, was reappointed to an at-large seat. 

Caribbean Council

The Caribbean Council includes members from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Edward P. Schuster, of the U.S. Virgin Islands, was appointed to an obligatory seat. Vanessa Ramirez Perez, of Puerto Rico, was appointed to an at-large seat. 

Gulf Council

The Gulf Council includes members from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Susan E. Boggs, of Alabama; and Jonathan J. Dugas, of Louisiana, were appointed to obligatory seats. Juan M. Sanchez, of Florida, was reappointed to his obligatory seat. 

Edward W. Swindell, Jr., of Louisiana; and Dale A. Diaz, of Mississippi; were both reappointed to at-large seats. 

Pacific Council

The Pacific Council includes members from California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Robert E. Dooley, of California; and Christa M. Svensson, of Oregon; were appointed to obligatory seats. 

Louis H. Zimm, of California, was appointed to an at-large seat, and Philip A. Anderson, of Washington, was reappointed to an at-large seat. 

North Pacific Council

The North Pacific Council includes members from Alaska and Washington.  John E Jensen was appointed to the obligatory seat for Alaska, while Andrew D. Mezirow, of Alaska; and Craig A. Cross, of Washington; were both reappointed. 

Western Pacific Council

The Western Pacific Council includes members from American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Michael P. Duenas, of Guam, was reappointed to an obligatory seat, and Edwin N. Watamura, of Hawaii, was appointed to a seat. 

Michael K. Goto, of Hawaii, was appointed to the at-large seat, filling a vacancy. 


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