Secretary of Commerce Appoints Nine New Committee Members to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee

March 19, 2018

MAFAC members at a meeting.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has appointed nine new advisors to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, bringing the group’s membership to the full complement of 21. Terms for eight members will commence immediately, and one member will begin their term in October 2018. The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, or MAFAC, advises the Secretary of Commerce and NOAA on all living marine resource matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. These nine individuals were chosen from a pool of highly qualified applicants who submitted nomination packages during an open, publicly announced process. A nomination process is announced when vacancies occur.

MAFAC members draw on their expertise to evaluate and make recommendations on national living marine resources policies.  The members represent a wide spectrum of fishing, aquaculture, protected resources, environmental, academic, tribal, state, consumer, and other related national interests from across the U.S., and ensure the nation’s living marine resource policies and programs meet the needs of these stakeholders.

The nine new members are:

Megan Davis, PhD, Ft. Pierce, Florida

Associate Executive Director of Academic Affairs & Economic Development

Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute                         

Robert Jones, Austin, Texas

Gulf of Mexico Regional Director, Environmental Defense Fund                     

Donna Kalez, San Clemente, California

Owner/Manager, Dana Wharf Sportfishing                                

Sara McDonald, PhD, San Diego & Monterey, California

Protected Species expert and Senior Fisheries Scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

Stefanie Moreland, Seattle, Washington

Director of Government Relations & Seafood Sustainability for Trident Seafood

Kellie Ralston, Tallahassee, Florida  (effective October 19, 2018)                 

Florida Fishery Policy Director, American Sportfishing Association

Ervin “Joe” Schumacker, Taholah, Washington

Marine Scientist, Quinault Department of Fisheries, Quinault Indian Nation

Matthew Upton, Seattle, Washington

Attorney at United States Seafoods

Richard Yamada, Auke Bay, Alaska     

Owner, Shelter Lodge, an Alaska sportfishing lodge

MAFAC provides advice and recommendations on NOAA and Department initiatives and programs. MAFAC recently identified priority initiatives for incoming NOAA and Commerce leaders to improve seafood businesses and trade, support recreational opportunities, strengthen science and fishery data, enable adaptive management, and recover protected species. This past year, MAFAC also instituted the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force to provide appropriate expertise on long term salmon and steelhead recovery.

 In recent years, MAFAC has also provided advice and input on:

  • The NOAA Aquaculture Strategic Plan for 2016-2020, highlighted the need to substantially increase domestic aquaculture production, and supported the development of an effective national aquaculture initiative.
  • Implementation of the Recreational Fisheries Policy.
  • Improving species recovery and section 7 pre-consultation processes.
  • How NOAA can best meet resource, habitat, and socio-economic resilience needs of fishing communities and sectors, particularly in a changing climate.

For more information about the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, visit this web page.

Last updated by Office of Policy on April 19, 2018

Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee