Aquaculture Task Force
Task Force of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee
The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) has a longstanding history of engagement on aquaculture issues. This Task Force was created in 2015 to expand the aquaculture expertise of MAFAC, and to help MAFAC provide advice and input to NOAA Leadership, on the NOAA Aquaculture Program and its future activities. The Task Force assists MAFAC in providing advice to NOAA to fulfill its central role in developing and implementing policies that enable marine aquaculture and work to ensure that aquaculture complies with existing federal laws and regulations that NOAA enforces under its marine stewardship mission.
Some past tasks of the Task Force was the review of: NOAA’s progress on implementing the agency’s 10-Year Plan for Marine Aquaculture (from 2007), priorities to include in strategic planning for the aquaculture program, and tasks to support NOAA’s work with the Regulatory Task Force of the Interagency Working Group on Aquaculture. The Aquaculture Task Force reports to MAFAC’s Commerce Subcommittee. Dr. Megan Davis has served on the Aquaculture Task Force since it was created and now, as a MAFAC member, will serve as the liaison between the Commerce Subcommittee and the Aquaculture Task Force.
The following 8 individuals were appointed to serve on this Task Force:
Dr. Davis is the Interim Executive Director of Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. She has extensive expertise in aquaculture, marine science, business development, training, and technology development and innovation and has led many team projects in Florida and the Caribbean. For 10 years she was co-Director of a USDA-ARS aquaculture cooperative agreement to develop low cost, energy efficient recirculating aquaculture systems and other technology for marine fish. Also, she co-founded the world’s first queen conch farm.
Dr. Forster is a consultant with expertise in aquaculture biology, aquaculture business, and marine agronomy. Currently, he is President of Forster Consulting Inc. and has worked extensively with clients such as the Alaska Department of Commerce, BC Salmon Farmers Association, the FAO, and Hubbs-SeaWorld. He is a board member of the Washington Fish Growers Association, has been active with many industry organizations, and is a former MAFAC member.
Mr. Hendrix is President and Founder of SeaFish Mariculture, an industry consulting group with expertise in aquaculture business development and management, aquaculture research and biology, and aquaculture policy. He is a former member of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, and was instrumental in developing its Aquaculture Fishery Management Plan, the first plan for aquaculture in Federal waters. He has also served on advisory committees to the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program and Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
Dr. Lotz is Director of the Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center of the University of Southern Mississippi and has expertise in marine aquaculture, aquaculture stock enhancement, and the ecology and epidemiology of parasites and diseases of marine organisms. Furthermore, he has extensive experience working on government-funded marine aquaculture research in the Gulf of Mexico
Mr. Nardi is an expert in aquaculture biology, hatchery operations, and the technical management of aquaculture production systems with over 30 years of experience with aquaculture operations in multiple regions across the country. Currently, he is the General Manager of Golden Eagle Sable Fish, Inc., in British Columbia. He recently finished two terms as a MAFAC member, where he served as Chair of the Commerce Committee.
Dr. Olin is an Aquaculture Specialist with the University of California Sea Grant Extension Program with expertise in aquaculture sustainable industry development, aquaculture species biology, maturation and larval rearing of penaeid shrimp, and spawning protocols for other species. He is co-author of California Programmatic Environmental Impact Report for Coastal and Marine Aquaculture and a board member to several regional and international industry shellfish associations.
Mr. Sims is Co-Founder and CEO of Kampachi Farms, LLC in Hawaii and has expertise in aquaculture business development, aquaculture business consulting, aquaculture technology development, pearl farming, and innovation specifically in open-ocean, offshore mariculture. He was the principle investigator of the Velella Project, the first ever un-anchored fish farm and has served on various industry councils.
Mr. Zajicek has recently become the Development Director of the National Aquaculture Association after serving 28 years with the Division of Aquaculture in the Florida Department of Agriculture. His expertise is in aquaculture business and market analysis, aquaculture regulation and permitting, and aquaculture biology. He wrote a popular guide helping aquaculture businesses navigate the state and federal regulatory processes to obtain permits. He also served on an ad hoc committee with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to assist with the development of the initial aquaculture fishery management plan.
Terms of Reference
To access the Task Force's original Terms of Reference, please click here (PDF, 2 pages)
MAFAC voted in 2017 to extend the term of this Task Force for one year to support MAFAC's resiliency work. In June 2018 MAFAC voted to extend the term for two years to engage and provide industry input on various tasks of NOAA leadership, due to NOAA's and the Department of Commerce's priorities on marine aquaculture, current interest in marine aquaculture growth, and recent introduction of legislation to enable development of this industry.