The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced the appointment of 20 new and returning members to the regional fishery management councils. These councils partner with NOAA Fisheries to manage marine fishery resources.
Established by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, councils are responsible for developing region-specific fishery management plans that safeguard and enhance the nation’s fisheries resources. Council members represent diverse groups, including commercial and recreational fishing industries, environmental organizations, and academia. They are vital to fulfilling the act’s requirements to end overfishing, rebuild fish stocks, and manage them sustainably.
NOAA Fisheries works closely with the councils through the process of developing fishery management plans. We also review, approve, and implement the plans.
Each year, the Secretary of Commerce appoints approximately one-third of the total 72 appointed members to the eight regional councils. The Secretary selects members from nominations submitted by the governors of fishing states, territories, and tribal governments.
Council members are appointed to both state-specific and regional seats—also known as obligatory and at-large seats, respectively. Council members serve a three-year term and may be reappointed to serve three consecutive terms.
* Asterisk following a member’s name indicates a reappointment
New England Council
The New England Council includes members from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. This year's appointees will fill one obligatory seat for New Hampshire, and two at-large seats.
Peter Whelan (New Hampshire)
Eric Hansen (Massachusetts)
Richard Bellavance (Rhode Island)*
The Mid-Atlantic Council includes members from the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. This year's appointees will fill one obligatory seat for Delaware, and three at-large seats.
Paul "Wes" Townsend (Delaware)*
Scott Lenox (Maryland)*
Peter Hughes (New Jersey)*
Ken Neill (Virginia)
South Atlantic Council
The South Atlantic Council includes members from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. This year's appointees will fill two obligatory seats for North Carolina and South Carolina.
Robert "Tim" Griner (North Carolina)*
Gary Borland (South Carolina)
The Caribbean Council includes members from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The 2022 appointee will fill one at-large seat.
James Kreglo (U.S. Virgin Islands)
The Gulf Council includes members from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. This year's appointees will fill two obligatory seats for Mississippi and Texas, and one at-large seat.
Michael McDermott (Mississippi)
Troy Williamson, II (Texas)*
Thomas Frazer (Florida)*
The Pacific Council includes members from California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The Pacific Council also includes one Tribal seat. This year's appointees will fill one obligatory seat for Idaho, and one at-large seat.
Peter Hassemer (Idaho)*
Marc Gorelnik (California)*
North Pacific Council
The North Pacific Council includes members from Alaska and Washington. This year's appointees will fill two obligatory seats for Alaska.
Angela Drobnica (Alaska)
Nicole Kimball (Alaska)*
Western Pacific Council
The Western Pacific Council includes members from American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. This year's appointees will fill one obligatory seat for American Samoa, and two at-large seats.
William Sword (American Samoa)*
Judith Guthertz (Guam)
Shaelene Kamakaala (Hawaii)