NOAA 99-R148
Contact: Gordon Helm


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

The advisory panels (AP) 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, amendments to plans and regulatory amendments.

Those nominees selected will represent a balance of recreational and commercial fishing interests and related industries, environmentalists, academicians and government agencies. Meetings are expected to be held two to three times a year. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for January or February 2000, in Silver Spring, Md. Upcoming activities include consideration of regulatory amendments under the framework provisions, particularly measures to address bycatch; improvements in swordfish, tuna and billfish management measures to be discussed at ICCAT; and domestic shark management measures.

Nominations should include:

1. An indication of whether the nomination is for the Billfish AP, the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) AP, or both panels;

2. The name of the applicant or nominee and a description of his or her interest in or connection with billfish (for the Billfish AP), or with one species in particular from among sharks, swordfish and tunas (for the HMS AP);

3. A statement of background and/or qualifications; and

4. A written commitment that the applicant or nominee shall actively participate in good faith in the tasks of the AP.

Criteria for membership include one or more of the following: (a) experience in the recreational fishing industry involved in catching swordfish, tunas or sharks (for the HMS AP), or billfish (for the Billfish AP); (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; or (e) former or current representative of a private, regional, state, national or international organization representing marine fisheries interests dealing with HMS. Selection of advisory panel members will not be limited to those who are nominated.

Nominations to the Billfish and Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panels can be sent to: Rebecca Lent, Chief, HMS Division, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD, 20910 or by fax to (301) 713-1917. The deadline for receiving nominations is Sept. 13, 1999.