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Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Advisory Panel

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National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.


Notice; solicitation of nominations.


NMFS solicits nominations for the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Advisory Panel (AP). NMFS consults with and considers the comments and views of the HMS AP when preparing and implementing Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) or FMP amendments for Atlantic tunas, swordfish, sharks, and billfish. Nominations are being sought to fill approximately one-third (11) of the seats on the HMS AP for a 3-year appointment. Individuals with definable interests in the recreational and commercial fishing and related industries, environmental community, academia, and non-governmental organizations are considered for membership on the HMS AP.


Nominations must be received on or before November 8, 2018.


You may submit nominations and requests for the Advisory Panel Statement of Organization, Practices, and Procedures by any of the following methods:

  • Email: Include in the subject line the following identifier: “HMS AP Nominations.”
  • Mail: Peter Cooper, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, NMFS SF1, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
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Peter Cooper at (301) 427-8503.

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The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act, Public Law 104-297, provided that the Secretary may establish Advisory Panels to assist in the collection and evaluation of information relevant to the development of any Fishery Management Plan (FMP) or FMP amendment for any highly migratory species fishery that is under the Secretary's authority. NMFS has consulted with the HMS AP on: Amendment 1 to the Billfish FMP (1999); the HMS FMP (1999); Amendment 1 to the HMS FMP (2003); the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (2006); and Amendments 1 (2009), 2 (2008), 3 (2010), 4 (2012), 5a (2013), 5b (2017), 6 (2015), 7 (2014), 8 (2013), 9 (2015), 10 (2017), and 11 (2018) to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP; among other relevant fishery management issues.

Procedures and Guidelines

A. Nomination Procedures for Appointments to the Advisory Panel

Nomination packages should include:

1. The name of the nominee and a description of his/her interest in HMS or HMS fisheries, or in particular species of sharks, swordfish, tunas, or billfish;

2. Contact information, including mailing address, phone, and email of the nominee;

3. A statement of background and/or qualifications;

4. A written commitment that the nominee shall actively participate in good faith, and consistent with ethics obligations, in the meetings and tasks of the HMS AP; and

5. A list of outreach resources that the nominee has at his/her disposal to communicate Qualifications for HMS AP Membership.

Qualification for membership includes one or more of the following: (1) Experience in HMS recreational fisheries; (2) experience in HMS commercial fisheries; (3) experience in fishery-related industries (e.g., marinas, bait and tackle shops); (4) experience in the scientific community working with HMS; and/or (5) representation of a private, non-governmental, regional, national, or international organization representing marine fisheries, or environmental, governmental, or academic interests dealing with HMS.

Tenure for the HMS AP

Member tenure will be for 3 years (36 months), with approximately one-third of the members' terms expiring on December 31 of each year. Nominations are sought for terms beginning January 2019 and expiring December 2021.

B. Participants

Nominations for the HMS AP will be accepted to allow representation from commercial and recreational fishing interests, academic/scientific interests, and the environmental/non-governmental organization community, who are knowledgeable about Atlantic HMS and/or Atlantic HMS fisheries. Current representation on the HMS AP, as shown in Table 1, consists of 12 members representing commercial interests, 12 members representing recreational interests, 4 members representing environmental interests, 4 academic representatives, and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Advisory Committee Chairperson. Each HMS AP member serves a 3-year term with approximately one-third of the total number of seats (33) expiring on December 31 of each year. NMFS seeks to fill 3 commercial, 4 recreational, 3 academic and 1 environmental organization vacancies by December 31, 2018. NMFS will seek to fill vacancies based primarily on maintaining the current representation from each of the sectors. NMFS also considers species expertise and representation from the fishing regions (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean) to ensure the diversity and balance of the AP. Table 1 includes the current representation on the HMS AP by sector, region, and species with terms that are expiring identified in bold. It is not meant to indicate that NMFS will only consider persons who have expertise in the species or fishing regions that are listed. Rather, NMFS will aim toward having as diverse and balanced an AP as possible.Start Printed Page 50643

Table 1—Current Representation on the HMS AP by Sector, Region, and Species

[Terms that are expiring or for whom current members are stepping down are marked as “Expiring”. NMFS tries to maintain diversity and balance in representation among fishing regions and species]

SectorFishing regionSpeciesDate appointedDate term expiresMember status
AcademicGulf of Mexico/SoutheastShark1/1/201612/31/2018Expiring.
CommercialGulf of Mexico/SoutheastSwordfish/Tuna1/1/201812/31/2020Active.
CommercialGulf of MexicoShark1/1/201712/31/2019Active.
RecreationalGulf of MexicoHMS1/1/201712/31/2019Active.

The intent is to have a group that, as a whole, reflects an appropriate and equitable balance and mix of interests given the responsibilities of the HMS AP.

Five additional members on the HMS AP include one member representing each of the following Councils: New England Fishery Management Council, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, and the Caribbean Fishery Management Council. The HMS AP also includes 22 ex-officio participants: 20 representatives of the coastal states and two representatives of the interstate commissions (the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission).

NMFS will provide the necessary administrative support, including technical assistance, for the HMS AP. However, NMFS will not compensate participants with monetary support of any kind. Depending on availability of funds, members may be reimbursed for travel costs related to the HMS AP meetings.

C. Meeting Schedule

Meetings of the HMS AP will be held as frequently as necessary but are routinely held twice each year—once in the spring, and once in the fall. The meetings may be held in conjunction with public hearings.

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Dated: October 3, 2018.

Margo Schulze-Haugen,

Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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[FR Doc. 2018-21847 Filed 10-5-18; 8:45 am]