Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has appointed three new advisors to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, bringing the group’s membership to the full complement of 21. Terms for the three members commence immediately. 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 three 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 three new members are:
- Thomas Fote, Toms River, New Jersey
Retired veteran and longtime recreational fisherman advocate
- Don McMahon, III, Pensacola, Florida
Owner, Pensacola Bay Oyster Company, LL, and Pensacola Bay Oyster Hatchery, LLC
- Patrick Sullivan, PhD, Ithaca, New York
Professor and Chair, Department of Natural Resources, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
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.
In recent years, MAFAC has also provided advice and input on:
- Enhancing seafood production and promotion, and identified major challenges to healthy oceans and thriving industries that need addressing.
- The NOAA Aquaculture Strategic Plan for 2016-2020, highlighting 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.
- Long term salmon and steelhead conservation and recovery through its Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force.
For more information about the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, visit this web page.