Seven new members from fisheries and environmental groups were recently appointed to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee.
The new appointments by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo brings the panel up to its full complement of 21 members, who advise the Department of Commerce and NOAA on living marine resources.
The seven new members are:
• Natasha Hayden, Kodiak, Alaska: Vice President of Lands & Natural Resources, Afognak Native Corporation
• Meredith Moore, Washington, D.C.: Director, Fish Conservation Program, Ocean Conservancy
• Linda O’Dierno, Somers, N.Y.: Fish and seafood development specialist
• Jocelyn Runnebaum, Ph.D., Bath, Maine: Fisheries Project Manager, Nature Conservancy
• Sarah Schumann, Warren, R.I.: Owner/principal, Shining Sea Fisheries Consulting, LLC
• Clayward Tam, Kailua, Hawaii: Cooperative Fisheries Research Coordinator, Pacific Islands Fisheries Group
• Brett Veerhusen, Seattle, Wash.: Principal, Ocean Strategies, Inc.
"These new members have such a rich and diverse background working across a wide range of fisheries, seafood, and marine resource issues," said Janet Coit, assistant administrator of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.
The 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 United States,” according to a statement from NOAA. “They ensure the nation’s marine resource policies and programs meet the needs of these stakeholders.”
The committee has assisted Commerce and NOAA for more than 50 years. Its recent priority initiatives aim 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 provided advice and input on:
• Reestablishing a National Seafood Council under the Fish and Seafood Promotion Act, to serve the U.S. seafood industry by conducting marketing, education, research, and promotion of U.S. seafood
• Building Resiliency At NOAA Fisheries: Navigating the next Four Years, recommendations that address pressing issues for U.S. fisheries and other marine resources, particularly in light of the challenges posed by climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic
• Recommendations to improve planning and coordination of offshore wind development for better engagement of stakeholders and to reduce or mitigate impacts to fishing activities, protected species, and NOAA Fisheries science and mission-related activities
• Recommendations in support of an effective national aquaculture initiative to help substantially increase domestic aquaculture production
• A vision, qualitative and quantitative goals for the recovery of all 27 stocks of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead, which also recommended continued collaboration to further define and implement strategies to achieve the Columbia Basin Partnership Goals
• Improving species recovery and ESA Section 7 pre-consultation processes