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Secretary of Commerce Appoints Two New Committee Members to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee; Reappoints Four Members

(August 23, 2012) Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank has announced the appointment of two new advisors and the reappointment of four current members to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee. The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, or MAFAC, advises the Secretary of Commerce on all living marine resource matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce.

The appointment of Edward (Ted) P. Ames is effective September 1, 2012, and fills the seat vacated by Terry Alexander who stepped down when he was appointed to the New England Fishery Management Council in August. Mr. Ames is a long-time small boat fisherman from Stonington, Maine and he has fished a wide range of gears for a variety of species. He also works as an applied scientist, studying spawning, ecosystems and fishing patterns; is well-published; and bridges fishing, science, and marine conservation disciplines. Mr. Ames helped establish and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the non-profit Penobscot East Resource Center that facilitates community-based resource management to secure a viable future for fishing communities in eastern Maine.

The appointment of Columbus Hall Brown, Sr. of Stone Mountain, Georgia is effective March 1, 2013, when Randy Cates of Kailua, Hawaii completes his second term. Mr. Brown is retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after 35 years of Distinguished Service as a biologist, supervisor, and administrator. As a special assistant to the Regional Director, he was the designee to the region’s three Fishery Management Councils (Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean) and two interstate fisheries commissions. Mr. Brown continues to participate on the Gulf of Mexico Council’s Science and Statistical Committee. He recently was engaged in training professionals and paraprofessionals prior to deployment to the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on evidence collection, protection of sensitive lands, and wildlife recovery.

MAFAC members draw on their expertise to evaluate and recommend priorities and needed changes in national programs and policies, including the periodic reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. The members represent a wide spectrum of fishing, environmental, academic, state, tribal, consumer, and other related national interests, and ensure the nation’s living marine resource policies and programs meet the needs of these stakeholders.

In addition to the two appointments, the Acting Secretary of Commerce reappointed four current members for a second 3-year term. These members are:

Anthony Chatwin, Washington, DC – Director of Marine and Coastal Conservation at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. A biological oceanographer with a research background in fishery biology and stock assessment, Dr. Chatwin also has extensive domestic and international experience in marine area and fisheries management.

Paul Clampitt, Edmonds, WA – Partner and operator of the commercial fisheries longliner F/V Augustine, which fishes for sablefish and Pacific cod of Washington, and IFQ halibut and sablefish fisheries off Alaska. With more than three decades of fishing experience, Mr. Clampitt also has a degree in marine biology and has served as an advisor to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Kenneth Franke, San Diego, CA – President of the Sportfishing Association of California; active captain of the fishing vessel Outer Limits in the sportfishing fleet of San Diego for the past 30 years. Mr. Franke is also a leader in the conduct of government-industry cooperative scientific research in the southwest region.

Keith Rizzardi, Miami Gardens, FL – Assistant Professor at St. Thomas University School of Law, Environmental Sustainability LLM Program; former managing attorney at the South Florida Water Management District; and former trial attorney in the Wildlife and Marine Resources Section at the Department of Justice working on fisheries, endangered species, and marine mammal cases. Mr. Rizzardi serves as the current chairman of MAFAC.

MAFAC is the only federal advisory panel charged with making recommendations to NOAA and the Secretary of Commerce on the department’s living marine resource responsibilities. Established in 1971, MAFAC consists of 15 to 21 individuals who are selected through a comprehensive public recruitment process. Member terms are three years, and members may serve two consecutive terms. MAFAC meets twice a year with supplementary subcommittee meetings as determined necessary by the chair

In recent years, MAFAC provided advice and recommendations on high-level policy issues such as the Commerce and NOAA aquaculture policies, catch shares, and the NOAA Strategic Plan. MAFAC established a Recreational Fishing Working Group to help NOAA engage more effectively with recreational stakeholders and provided input on implementation of President Obama’s National Ocean Policy. MAFAC's report, “Vision 2020: The Future of U.S. Marine Fisheries” helped shape NOAA’s perspective on the upcoming challenges and opportunities in managing our nation's living marine resources.

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