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Department of Commerce Announces 2022 Appointments to the Regional Fishery Management Councils

June 27, 2022

The Secretary of Commerce announces the appointment of 20 new and returning members of the eight regional fishery management councils.

Fishing vessels docked at Point Judith, Rhode Island Fishing vessels in Point Judith, Rhode Island. Credit: NOAA.

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.

Obligatory seat

Peter Whelan (New Hampshire)

At-large seats

Eric Hansen (Massachusetts)

Richard Bellavance (Rhode Island)*

Mid-Atlantic Council

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.

Obligatory seat

Paul "Wes" Townsend (Delaware)*

At-large seats

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.

Obligatory seats

Robert "Tim" Griner (North Carolina)*

Gary Borland (South Carolina)

Caribbean Council

The Caribbean Council includes members from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The 2022 appointee will fill one at-large seat.

At-large seat

James Kreglo (U.S. Virgin Islands)

Gulf Council

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.

Obligatory seats

Michael McDermott (Mississippi)

Troy Williamson, II (Texas)*

At-large seat

Thomas Frazer (Florida)*

Pacific Council

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.

Obligatory seat

Peter Hassemer (Idaho)*

At-large seat

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.

Obligatory seats

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.

Obligatory seat

William Sword (American Samoa)*

At-large seats

Judith Guthertz (Guam)

Shaelene Kamakaala (Hawaii)