NOAA 2000-104
Contact: Stephanie Dorezas


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today announced the selection of members for two advisory panels that assist NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service in the collection and evaluation of information on future management of the fisheries for Atlantic billfish, tunas, swordfish and sharks.

The Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel and the Atlantic Billfish Advisory Panel were formed to meet requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Panel members assist NOAA Fisheries in meeting requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, including development of fishery management plans, and amendments to plans.

Panel members are selected based on their experience and interest in highly migratory species management, and represent a balance of recreational and commercial fishing interests and related industries, environmentalists, academics and government agencies.

Selected for the Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel are:

 Commercial  Recreational
 Richard Ruais, Salem, N.H.  *Robert Pride, Williamsburg, Va.
 Peter Weiss, Boston, Mass.James  Donofrio, New Gretna, N.J.
 *Patricia Percy, Phippsburg, Maine  *James Ehman, Port Aransas,
 Russell Hudson, Holly Hill, Fla.  Fla.Mark Sampson, Ocean City, Md.
 *William Gerencer, Bowdoin, Maine  Rom Whitaker, Hatteras, N.C.
 Nelson Beideman, Barnegat Light,
Ellen Peel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla
 Gail Johnson, Harpswell, Maine  
 Steven Loga, Dulac, La.  
 David Wilmot, Islip, N.Y.  
 Edward Houde, Solomons, Md.  
 Sonja Fordham, Washington, D.C.  
 Robert Hueter, Sarasota, Fla.  
 *Elizabeth Lauck, New York, N.Y.  
 Steven Berkeley, Newport, Ore.  
 *Term begins April 6, 2000  
 Billfish Advisory Panel  
 Commercial  Environmental/Academic
 Jack Devnew, Norfolk, Va.  Russell Dunn, Washington, D.C.
   Dr. Linda Lucas, St. Petersburg, Fla.
 John Jolly, Boynton Beach, Fla.  
 Ellen Peel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  
 William Harrell, Charlotte, N.C.  
 Robert Caviness, Fayetteville, N.C.  

Both advisory panels will also have a representative from each of the five East and Gulf coast regional fishery management councils that will be chosen by the chair of the council. The chair of the U.S. advisory committee to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas is also a member of the advisory panels. Atlantic and Gulf coast states may also send a representative to the meetings.

Criteria for membership include one or more of the following: (a) Experience in the recreational fishing industry involved in catching HMS species and billfish; (b) experience in the commercial fishing industry for HMS; (c) experience in connected industries (processing, marinas, bait and tackle shops); (d) experience in the scientific community working with HMS; (e) former or current representative of a private, regional, state, national, or international organization representing marine fisheries interests dealing with HMS.

AP meetings are expected to be held two to three times a year. The next meeting is a joint HMS and Billfish meeting and is scheduled for 1 p.m. Feb. 9th through noon on Feb. 11th at the NOAA Science Center which is located at 1301 East-West Hwy. in Silver Spring, Md. The Advisory Panels will discuss the "1999 Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species," limited entry in HMS fisheries, bycatch reduction measures including time/area closure proposed rule, economic data collection, and assessing social impacts on HMS fishing communities.