NOAA Fisheries is soliciting nominations for the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Advisory Panel (AP). NOAA Fisheries consults with, and considers the comments and views of the HMS AP when preparing and implementing Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) or FMP amendments for Atlantic tunas, swordfish, billfish, and sharks. Nominations for the HMS AP will be accepted to allow representation from commercial and recreational fishing interests, the scientific community, and the environmental community who are knowledgeable about Atlantic HMS and/or Atlantic HMS fisheries. HMS AP members serve three-year terms, with approximately one‑third of the total HMS AP members’ terms expiring on December 31 of each year. Nominations are being sought to fill 11 of the seats on the HMS AP for a 3-year appointment.
Individuals with definable interests in recreational and commercial fishing and related industries, environmental community, academia, and non-governmental organizations will be considered for membership on the HMS AP. Nominations are invited from all individuals and constituent groups. Nomination packages should include:
Nomination packages should be submitted to the HMS Management Division either through email or mail. Email complete packages to HMSAP.Nominations@noaa.gov and include “HMS AP Nominations” in the subject line. If mailing packages in please send them to the following address; Margo Schulze-Haugen, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, NOAA Fisheries SF1, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Nomination packages are due by November 22, 2017.
NOAA Fisheries seeks to fill 6 commercial, 3 recreational, 1 academic, and 1 environmental vacancies. (Table 1). Each sector must be adequately represented, and the intent is to have a group that, as a whole, reflects an appropriate and equitable balance and mix of interests given the responsibilities of the HMS AP. Therefore, NOAA Fisheries will seek to fill vacancies based primarily on maintaining the current representation from each of the sectors, and secondarily by species expertise and/or representation from different regions. The species expertise listed in the Table indicates the current makeup on the HMS AP and does not necessarily indicate a requirement for expertise in that particular species.
Qualification for membership includes one or more of the following: (1) experience in HMS recreational fisheries; (2) experience in HMS commercial fisheries; (3) experience in fishery-related industries (e.g., marinas, bait and tackle shops); (4) experience in the scientific community working with HMS; and/or (5) experience representing a private, non-governmental, regional, national, or international organization representing marine fisheries, or environmental, governmental, or academic interests dealing with HMS.
This notice is a courtesy to Atlantic HMS fisheries interested parties to keep you informed about the fishery. Official notice of federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register. For further information, contact Peter Cooper (301) 427-8503.
Table 1. Current Representation on the HMS AP by Sector, Region, and Species. (Terms that are expiring or for whom current members are stepping down are in bold. NOAA Fisheries tries to maintain diversity and balance in representation among fishing regions and species.)