The Department of Commerce on Monday announced the appointment of 31 members to the eight regional fishery management councils that work with NMFS to manage U.S. fisheries from New England to the Western Pacific.
Established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976, 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.
NMFS 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.
An asterisk preceding 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. 2021 appointees will fill four obligatory seats for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and one at-large seat.
Obligatory seats: Mark Alexander (Connecticut) Geoffrey Smith (Maine) Michael Pierdinock (Massachusetts) *Eric Reid (Rhode Island)
At-large seat: Kristin ‘Togue’ Brawn (Maine)
The Mid-Atlantic Council includes members from the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. 2021 appointees will fill two obligatory seats for New Jersey and Virginia, and two at-large seats.
Obligatory seats: *Adam Nowalsky (New Jersey) Skip Feller (Virginia)
At-large seats: *Sara Winslow (North Carolina) Thomas Schlichter (New York)
South Atlantic Council
The South Atlantic Council includes members from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. 2021 appointees will fill two obligatory seats for Florida and Georgia, and two at-large seats.
Obligatory seats: Laurilee Thompson (Florida) Judy Helmey (Georgia)
At-large seats: *Arnold G. ‘Spud’ Woodward (Georgia) Thomas Roller (North Carolina)
The Caribbean Council includes members from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 2021 appointees will fill one obligatory seat for U.S. Virgin Islands and one at-large seat.
Obligatory seat: *Carlos F. Farchette (U.S. Virgin Islands)
At-large seat: *Vanessa Ramírez Perez (Puerto Rico)
The Gulf Council includes members from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. 2021 appointees will fill three obligatory seats for Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana, and two at-large seats.
Obligatory seats: *Susan Boggs (Alabama) Robert Gill (Florida) *Jonathan ‘JD’ Dugas (Louisiana)
At-large seats: Billy Broussard (Louisiana) *Dale A. Diaz (Mississippi)
The Pacific Council includes members from California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The Pacific Council also includes one Tribal seat. 2021 appointees will fill three obligatory seats for California, Oregon, and West Coast Tribes, and two at-large seats.
Obligatory seats: Corey C. Ridings (California) *Christa Svensson (Oregon) *Joseph Y. Oatman (Nez Perce Tribe, Idaho)
At-large seats: *Robert E. Dooley (California) *Phil M. Anderson (Washington)
North Pacific Council
The North Pacific Council includes members from Alaska and Washington. 2021 appointees will fill three obligatory seats for Alaska and Washington.
Obligatory seats: *John Jensen (Alaska) *Andrew Mezirow (Alaska) Anne M. Vanderhoeven (Washington)
Western Pacific Council
The Western Pacific Council includes members from American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. 2021 appointees will fill two obligatory seats for Guam and Hawaii, and one at-large seat for an out-of-cycle vacancy.
Obligatory seats: Manuel ‘Manny’ Duenas II (Guam) Matthew Ramsey (Hawaii)
At-large seat: William Sword (American Samoa) out-of-cycle appointment