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Note: An Annual Comprehensive Review, as required by §7 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, is conducted each year on committee data entered for the previous fiscal year (referred to as the reporting year). The data for the reporting year is not considered verified until this review is complete and the data is moved to history for an agency/department. See the Data From Previous Years section at the bottom of this page for the committee’s historical, verified data.

DOC - 359 - Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee - Agency Authority


Committee NameMarine Fisheries Advisory CommitteeAgency NameDepartment of Commerce
Fiscal Year2020Committee Number359
Original Establishment Date2/17/1971Committee StatusChartered
Actual Termination Date Committee URL
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*No
Terminated This FYNoMax Number of Members*21
Current Charter Date4/12/2020Designated Fed Officer Position Title*DFO
Date Of Renewal Charter4/12/2022Designated Federal Officer PrefixMs.
Projected Termination Date Designated Federal Officer First Name*Jennifer
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle Name
Specific Termination AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Last Name*Lukens
Establishment Authority*Agency AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*Secretary's Decision MemorandumDesignated Federal Officer Phone*(301) 427-8041
Effective Date Of Authority*12/28/1970Designated Federal Officer Fax*301-713-1940
Exempt From EO 13875 Discretionary CmteNot ApplicableDesignated Federal Officer Email*
Committee Type*Continuing
Committee Function*National Policy Issue Advisory Board


Agency Recommendation*Continue
Legislation to Terminate RequiredNo
Legislation StatusNot Applicable
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*MAFAC advises the Secretary of Commerce on policies and guidance for stewardship of the Nation’s living marine resources. The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere (or designee) and the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries actively participate and identify topics for deliberation by the Committee that are timely and relevant to the Secretary. MAFAC in return provides recommendations to the Secretary regarding policies, regulations, and programs that are the responsibility of the Department. As a national advisory group, MAFAC provides a public forum where candid discussions on complex issues of resource management and science can occur. During these discussions, various options and concerns are examined, objectives identified, and mutual understanding developed. MAFAC provides input from a wide variety of constituencies that improve the agency’s knowledge regarding what will be supported as well as what will be controversial.
How is membership balanced?*For 49 years, MAFAC has maintained a diverse group of professional and academic expert members who represent regional and national perspectives on living marine resources. The current composition of the Committee balances gender, ethnic, geographic, and sectoral representation and includes expertise in aquaculture; seafood and trade; commercial, recreational, and subsistence fishing and related industries; natural resource and protected species management; environmental issues; and social, economic, and biological sciences. Balance is maintained by holding widely announced open nominations when vacancies occur. Partner organizations and stakeholder groups receive nomination announcements and are asked to widely distribute it, they are posted to the NOAA Fisheries website, distributed through NOAA Fisheries’ weekly e-Newsletter (reaching 56,000), and these announcements are usually shared through trade new outlets.

The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the Department's Assistant Administrator for Fisheries serve as ex officio members to the Committee, and the executive directors of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Interstate Fisheries Commissions serve as non-voting ex officio members, as well.

All members are recognized leaders in their field and contribute a wide-range of knowledge and experience. The caliber of the membership is exemplified by the fact that periodically, members of MAFAC must step down because they are nominated by their governors and appointed by the Secretary to serve on the regional fishery management councils. Similarly, some applicants wishing to serve on MAFAC have past experience serving on regional fishery management councils.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*As required by the Charter, the full Committee meets at least twice each calendar year in person, or virtually, as needed. The topics for consideration on the agenda are derived from a mix of DOC and NOAA current or forthcoming issues put forth by the agencies, as well as timely and relevant topics suggested or requested by MAFAC members. MAFAC continues to make policy recommendations on key programs and legislative initiatives that address the science and management of fisheries and protected species and emerging issues facing NOAA Fisheries. The detailed presentations and discussions that comprise all MAFAC meetings is necessary to support the thoughtful and deliberative work of the Committee.

In FY2020, MAFAC held one in-person meeting, October 15-17, 2019 in Silver Spring, Maryland and one virtual meeting (by webinar) June 29-July 1, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related disruptions, the in-person meeting planned for April 2020 in Puerto Rico was postponed indefinitely, and the spring 2020 meeting shifted to the summer, in part to allow completion of ongoing work. At both meetings, MAFAC members gathered input from external experts and discussed, considered, and finalized recommendations on several high level policy issues. Additionally, several of MAFAC's subcommittees met in-conjunction with full Committee meetings.

Relevant, major topics that the MAFAC members focused on in FY2020 included: (1) American consumer confidence in U.S. seafood (wild caught and aquaculture), and how to encourage increased consumption for health reasons and in support of fisheries and local economies; (2) offshore wind and its impacts on commercial and recreational fisheries, as well as protected species; (3) addressing gaps in recreational fisheries information, particularly for private anglers in general and specifically in Federal waters; and (4) supporting a collaborative regional process to develop and recommend qualitative goals and quantitative goals for all salmon and steelhead stocks in the Columbia Basin.

At both the October 2019 and June/July 2020 meetings, MAFAC received updates and monitored the progress of the Columbia Basin Partnership (CBP) Task Force. This Task Force was established in January 2017 to develop recommendations and help define common goals for a shared path forward for long-term salmon and steelhead recovery. To conduct its work, the CBP Task Force met six times in FY2020 (two times in person and four virtual meetings) All meetings were publicized in the FR an.d by other means and were open to the public. CBP Task Force members presented Phase 2 progress reports and updates of all ongoing work to MAFAC at both of its meetings. The Phase 2 work identified biological and socio-economic factors limiting salmon and steelhead recovery; finalized all qualitative and quantitative goals for 27 stocks of salmon and steelhead; developed scenarios, strategies, and various paths forward for achieving the goals; includes stories; perspectives, opportunities, and challenges from the Partnership representatives; and identified 10 key messages for future decision makers. The Task Force completed its work and held its last meeting in September 2020. The Task Force subsequently presented its final report at MAFAC’s October 2020 meeting (first meeting for FY2021).

Additionally in FY2020, MAFAC developed a terms of reference and established a new task force to consider recreational electronic reporting by private anglers. By late fall 2019, recruitment began, and nominations remained open for several months. By early 2020, this new task force was constituted and began its work. Per the terms of reference, the work will continue for two years. MAFAC members received an update on its creation and initial work at their summer 2020 meeting.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*As a unique national advisory committee comprised of individuals with diverse expertise in the fields of living marine resource management and science or representing an important stakeholder group, MAFAC has proven to be an invaluable resource for the Administration to identify common ground on which controversial and highly visible issues can move forward. MAFAC pre-dates FACA and is the oldest advisory body in NOAA, having advised on implementation of such landmark initiatives as the Law of the Sea and the original Fisheries Conservation and Management Act of 1976. It is the only FACA-chartered advisory committee with responsibility to "advise the Secretary on all living marine resources that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce." Many marine resource management issues tend to be highly controversial and require a great deal of public transparency and consensus building. The MAFAC has become an increasingly useful asset for serving in this role, providing the agency and the Administration with a public sounding board to identify issues and develop strategies on which common ground and mutual agreement can be established. The focus of MAFAC and its Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force on watershed-wide salmon and steelhead issues is a good example of this. While regional commissions and councils exist, MAFAC is the only national, open, transparent organization that focuses on oceans policy and living marine resource stewardship from the unique perspective of stakeholders collaborating with the government to provide advice on national policy. Additionally, MAFAC’s work is always aimed at supporting the mission and goals of NOAA Fisheries, NOAA, and the Department of Commerce.

MAFAC meetings are open to the public and tend to be well attended. The detailed and explanatory discussions of complex issues (that are not always articulated well in the media) provide the agency a degree of public education that is proving increasingly valuable. MAFAC provides a valuable and candid forum for the anticipated debates revolving around the implementation of ocean management initiatives.
Why close or partially close meetings?N/A.
Recommendation RemarksMAFAC is a unique national advisory body with diverse expertise and member viewpoints on living marine resource conservation and management issues. NOAA and the Department of Commerce value MAFAC’s policy advice and input on key marine resource issues, particularly controversial or challenging ones, as well as its open, transparent process.


Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety*NoAction Reorganize Priorities*Yes
Outcome Trust In GovernmentYesAction Reallocate ResourcesNo
Outcome Major Policy ChangesYesAction Issued New RegulationsNo
Outcome Advance In Scientific ResearchYesAction Proposed LegislationNo
Outcome Effective Grant MakingNoAction Approved Grants Or Other PaymentsNo
Outcome Improved Service DeliveryYesAction OtherYes
Outcome Increased Customer SatisfactionYesAction CommentMAFAC has served as a forum in which draft initiatives are candidly discussed in an open forum allowing for Committee input to be taken into consideration before the agency takes any formal action. In addition, the Committee provides guidance and feedback to the agency on strategic elements involved with public outreach, constituent communication, and 'marketing messages' for complicated and/or controversial issues.
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg RequirementsYesGrants Review*No
Outcome OtherNoNumber Of Grants Reviewed0
Outcome CommentNot ApplicableNumber Of Grants Recommended0
Cost Savings*Unable to DetermineDollar Value Of Grants Recommended$0.00
Cost Savings CommentAlthough many MAFAC recommendations have been adopted by the agency, they normally take the form of general policy guidance, priorities, and advice, rather than specific regulatory or fisheries management actions for which benefit-cost computations are made. Members serve in a voluntary capacity, and a rough approximation of the value of the time directly donated through MAFAC and its task forces is on the order of $400,000 -$600,000 per year.Grants Review CommentNot Applicable
Number Of Recommendations*493Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentIn FY2020, MAFAC contributed 16 recommendations from its work over the course of the year. Their recommendations included the following:
(1) recommendation to establish a National Seafood Council to support the U.S. seafood community and to conduct education, research, promotion, and marketing to increase U.S. seafood consumption, improve the health of the American people, and increase the return on investment to the U.S. seafood industry;
(2) address offshore wind impacts on fisheries and science and the need for better coordination with other federal agencies and stakeholders;
(3) establish a new Recreational Electronic Reporting Task Force;
(4) support the vital need for a Seafood Trade Task Force;
(5) address short term fisheries needs due to COVID-19 impacts; in particular suspend, streamline or temporarily suspending unnecessary regulations and reduce or eliminate financial burdens on fishing businesses.
Access Agency WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented*70.00%Access Committee WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentThe final report and minutes of each meeting along with any advisory recommendations are distributed throughout the agency and targeted to the appropriate staff responsible for the issue of focus. The 70 percent is based on the recent DFO's experience and is not a reflection of what has been implemented over the lifetime of the Committee. In FY2020 – approximately 70% of the Committee's recommendations were implemented or continue to be under consideration.Access GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*15.00%Access PublicationsYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentThis is an estimate. Some recommendations are individually very detailed, and in some cases, the entire suite of recommendations may not be implemented. It is important to note that in some years, recommendations to interagency bodies are beyond the sole control and authority of NOAA and the Department of Commerce.Access OtherNo
Agency Feedback*YesAccess CommentCurrent MAFAC reports, activities, and minutes are posted and maintained on a web page located on the agency's web site, along with DFO contact information. In the fall of 2017, NOAA Fisheries created a new user-friendly website. Old reports and documentation that are not on the site are maintained per the customary records management regulations. Copies of past reports and documentation are available to the public by sending requests to the DFO’s office.
Agency Feedback Comment*At the beginning of each meeting, a specific discussion, follow-on presentation, or recap of what the agency has done is provided in response to the most recent recommendations transmitted by the Committee. In addition, members of MAFAC are briefed by subject matter experts at each meeting on progress and status on issues and questions raised by the Committee. Written reports, draft regulations, or policies are provided and discussed with the full Committee.Narrative Description*MAFAC is a national advisory body with diverse expertise and member viewpoints. As NOAA is a regulatory agency with responsibility for managing and sustaining living marine resources, many of the actions, decisions, and priorities of the agency are controversial. MAFAC provides an invaluable forum in which controversial and key issues can be discussed, mutual understanding developed, and common ground established for expanded public dialogue and debate. The value and importance of this role has increased in recent years as the Administration and the Department of Commerce seeks guidance and input on the contemporary challenges in its strategic plan: identifying new planning, management, science, and research in support of expanding aquaculture and other appropriate uses of offshore areas; amplifying the economic and social value of commercial and recreational fisheries while ensuring their sustainability; conserving and recovering protected species while supporting responsible fishing and resource development.
Hide Section - COSTS


Payments to Non-Federal Members*$0.00Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Members*$0.00Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Staff*$569,086.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$263,997.00
Payments to Consultants*$420,176.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$6,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$47,491.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$30,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$10,325.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$4,500.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$11,154.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Other Costs$2,854.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$15,000.00
Total Costs$1,061,086.00Est. Total Next FY*$319,497.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*2.93Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY*1.32
Cost RemarksOverall costs are lower than projected primarily due to changing meetings planned as in-person (with meeting rental and travel costs) to virtual meetings, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Number of overall meetings did not change.The "Other" costs this year were minimal meeting room costs for two Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force meetings ($2425), and some minor materials/office supplies ($429).Est Cost RemarksOverall MAFAC costs are anticipated to be much lower in FY2021, because the work of the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force was completed in September 2020. The only work continuing in FY2021 is MAFAC finalizing and printing that program's Phase 2 report. Additionally, travel and meeting room costs are estimated for just one potential in-person meeting before the end of the fiscal year. For "other" costs, the $15,000 for in FY2021 is predominantly linked to the typesetting, layout, proofing, and publication of a report. The report was approved by the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force at its last meeting in Sept 2020, and submitted to MAFAC which approved it in Oct 2020. Since then, we have been busy with all the steps to get it to publication; all those costs will be reported in FY2021..
Hide Section - Interest Areas

Interest Areas

Fish and Wildlife
Environmental Issues
Oceans and Atmospheric Sciences


To View all the members, meetings and advisory reports for this committee please click here




ActionCommittee System IDSubcommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-031537Commerce Subcommittee2020
 COM-031543Ecosystem Approach Subcommittee2020
 COM-030811Executive Subcommittee2020
 COM-031780Protected Resources Subcommittee2020
 COM-032150Recreational Fisheries Subcommittee2020
 COM-032256Strategic Planning, Budget and Program Management Subcommittee2020


No Documents Found



Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-035916Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2019
 COM-034317Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2018
 COM-001340Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2017
 COM-002914Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2016
 COM-003495Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2015
 COM-005105Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2014
 COM-005533Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2013
 COM-007235Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2012
 COM-007678Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2011
 COM-009392Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2010
 COM-009775Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2009
 COM-011313Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2008
 COM-011595Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2007
 COM-013198Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2006
 COM-013443Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2005
 COM-015099Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2004
 COM-015384Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2003
 COM-017071Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2002
 COM-017337Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2001
 COM-019059Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2000
 COM-019270Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee1999
 COM-020877Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee1998
 COM-021153Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee1997