The Commerce Department has appointed 21 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils, which are key partners with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service in determining how ocean fisheries are managed.
The councils, established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, prepare fishery management plans for marine fish stocks in their regions. The councils fulfill the act’s charge to end and prevent overfishing and rebuild fish stocks to ensure sustainable fisheries. NOAA’s Fisheries Service works closely with the councils during plan development and also reviews, approves and implements the management plans developed by the councils. The Pacific Council appointees are Richard H. Lincoln (Wash.) for the obligatory seat and Jeffrey N. Feldner (Ore.) for the at-large seat.
The North Pacific Council includes John J. Henderschedt (Wash.) and Eric A. Olson (Alaska) for obligatory seats. The Western Pacific Council appoints David G. Itano (Hawaii) Frederick M. Rice (Hawaii) for at-large seats and Richard B. Seman (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) for an obligatory seat.
Council members represent diverse constituents, including commercial and recreational fisheries, environmental interests and academia. Each year, the Secretary of Commerce selects approximately one-third of the total of 72 appointed members to the eight regional councils. Twenty-one are being named or reappointed for the next term, which begins on August 11.