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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC292

Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Advisory Panel

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Notice; solicitation of nominations.
SUMMARY: 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 (10) 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 in the HMS AP (note that there are no Environmental/NGO terms expiring, so no nominations for that sector will be considered at this time).
DATES: Nominations must be received on or before November 19, 2012.
ADDRESSES: *Email: HMSAP.Nominations@noaa.gov.Include in the subject line the following identifier: "HMS AP Nominations."

*Mail:Jenni Wallace, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

*Fax:301-713-1917.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jenni Wallace at (301) 427-8503.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801et 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 (April 1999); the HMS FMP (April 1999); Amendment 1 to the HMS FMP (December 2003); the Consolidated HMS FMP (October 2006); Amendments 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 to the Consolidated HMS FMP (April and October 2008, February and September 2009, May and September 2010, April and September 2011, and March 2012); 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 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 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 HMS issues to various interest groups.

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 2013 and expiring December 2015.

B. Participants

Nominations for the HMS AP will be accepted to allow representation from commercial and recreational fishing interests, and the scientific 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 2 commercial, 5 recreational, and 3 academic vacancies by December 31, 2012. 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, South Atlantic, 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.

Table 1—Current Representation on the HMS AP by Sector, Region, and Species [Terms that are expiring are inbold.NMFS tries to maintain diversity and balance in representation among fishing regions and species; the AP SOPPs only dictate representation by Sector.] Sector Fishing Region Species Date
  • appointed
  • Date term
  • expires
  • Academic All Swordfish/Tuna 1/1/2012 12/31/2014 Academic All Tuna 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 Academic Southeast/Gulf of Mexico Shark 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 Academic Southeast Swordfish/HMS 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 Commercial Northeast HMS 1/1/2012 12/31/2014 Commercial Northeast Tuna 1/1/2012 12/31/2014 Commercial Gulf of Mexico Tuna/Swordfish 1/1/2012 12/31/2014 Commercial Northeast Tuna 1/1/2012 12/31/2014 Commercial Northeast Tuna 1/1/2012 12/31/2014 Commercial Southeast Shark 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 Commercial Southeast Swordfish/Tuna 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 Commercial Northeast Tuna 1/1/2011 12/31/2013 Commercial Mid-Atlantic HMS/Shark 1/1/2011 12/31/2013 Commercial Southeast Swordfish 1/1/2011 12/31/2013 Commercial Gulf of Mexico Shark 1/1/2011 12/31/2013 Commercial Gulf of Mexico Shark 1/1/2011 12/31/2013 Environmental All Shark 1/1/2012 12/31/2014 Environmental Gulf of Mexico HMS 1/1/2012 12/31/2014 Environmental All Tuna 1/1/2011 12/31/2013
    Environmental All Tuna 1/1/2011 12/31/2013 Recreational Gulf of Mexico/Southeast Billfish/Tuna 1/1/2012 12/31/2014 Recreational Mid-Atlantic HMS 1/1/2012 12/31/2014 Recreational Mid-Atlantic Tuna 1/1/2012 12/31/2014 Recreational Northeast Tuna/Shark 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 Recreational Southeast Swordfish 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 Recreational Northeast Tuna 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 Recreational Southeast HMS 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 Recreational Northeast HMS 1/1/2010 12/31/2012 Recreational Southeast HMS 1/1/2011 12/31/2013 Recreational Mid-Atlantic HMS 1/1/2011 12/31/2013 Recreational Southeast Billfish 1/1/2011 12/31/2013 Recreational Gulf of Mexico HMS 1/1/2011 12/31/2013

    Our 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.

    Dated: October 12, 2012. Emily H. Menashes, Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.