U.S. Commerce Department announces 2012 regional fishery council appointments

The Commerce Department today announced the appointment of 30 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with NOAA’s Fisheries Service to manage ocean fish stocks.

 The councils were established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to prepare fishery management plans for marine fish stocks in their regions. NOAA’s Fisheries Service works closely with the councils as plans are developed, and then reviews, approves, and implements the fishery management plans.

 “I’m pleased to announce our newest members to the regional fishery management councils,” said Sam Rauch, deputy assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “Along with their colleagues, these new council members will help shape the science-based management of U.S. fisheries and continue the strong commitment to turning the corner on ending overfishing, rebuilding fish stocks and achieving and maintaining sustainable fisheries and vibrant fishing communities.”

 Council members represent diverse groups, including commercial and recreational fishing industries, environmental interests and academia, and carry out the act’s requirements to end overfishing, rebuild fish stocks, and manage them sustainably. Each year, approximately one-third of the total 72 appointed members to the eight regional councils are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. NOAA’s Fisheries Service selects members from nominations submitted by the governors of fishing states, territories and tribal governments and oversees the annual appointment process.

 The new and reappointed council members begin their three-year terms on August 11. Council members are appointed to both obligatory seats, which are specific to a state, and at-large seats which can be filled by a person from any of the states in the council’s region. Council members may be reappointed to serve three consecutive three-year terms.

 Mid-Atlantic Council

The Mid-Atlantic Council includes members from the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The appointees for 2012 fill obligatory seats for New Jersey and Virginia and two at-large seats.

Obligatory seats:

*Christopher J. Zeman (New Jersey)

Jeffrey Deem (Virginia)

At-large seats:

Anthony “Tony” D. Dilernia (New York)

*Preston “Pres” P. Pate (North Carolina)

South Atlantic Council

The South Atlantic Council includes members from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The appointees for 2012 fill obligatory seats for Florida and Georgia and two at-large seats.

Obligatory seats:

*Benjamin “Ben” Hartig III (Florida)

Steve “BC” A. Amick (Georgia)

At-large seats:

*Charles M. Phillips (Georgia)

Anna B. Beckwith (North Carolina)

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