Fishery Management Council, North Pacific

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional councils established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976 to manage fisheries in the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Council primarily manages groundfish in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands, targeting cod, pollock, flatfish, mackerel, sablefish, and rockfish species harvested by trawl, longline, jig, and pot gear. The Council also makes allocation decisions for halibut, in concert with the International Pacific Halibut Commission that biologically manages the resource for U.S.-Canada waters. Other large Alaska fisheries for salmon, crab, and scallops are managed jointly with the State of Alaska. Each Council decision is made by recorded vote in a public forum after public comment. Final decisions then go to the Secretary of Commerce for a second review, public comment, and final approval. Decisions must conform with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Regulatory Flexibility Act, and other applicable law including several executive orders. Regulatory changes may take up to a year or longer to implement, particularly if complex or contentious.

The Council is composed of 15 members; 11 voting and 4 non-voting. Seven of the voting members are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce upon the recommendation of the governors of Alaska and Washington. The Governor of Alaska nominates candidates for five seats, the Governor of Washington two seats. There are four mandatory voting members; they are the leading fisheries officials from the states of Alaska, Washington and Oregon and the Alaska Regional Director for the National Marine Fisheries Service. The four non-voting members are the Executive Director of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the Area Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Commander of the 17th Coast Guard District, and a representative from the U.S. State Department.
Board Website
Policy AreaNatural Resources and Environment
Governor Appointments3
Total Board Positions3
Statutory Authority16 USC Chapter 38 Subchapter IV § 1852
Public Disclosure Required?No
Senate Confirmation Required?No
Term Length (years)3
Statutory Term Limits3 consecutive terms. When appointing to a vacancy, a term shall count as one full term if it is longer than 18 months (Magnusun-Stevens Act)
Member Requirements: Leading fishery official for Washington is a statutory member. Two additional members nominated by the Governor of Washington and appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. Members should represent diverse fishing interests and their combined knowledge and experience should represent a balance of commercial and recreational fisheries interests.

Nomination and Appointment Process: The members of the Council required to be appointed by the Secretary must be individuals who, by reason of their occupational or other experience, scientific expertise, or training, are knowledgeable regarding the conservation and management, or the commercial or recreational harvest, of the fishery resources of the geographical area concerned.

The Secretary shall appoint these members from a list of individuals submitted by the Governor. The governors must submit three names for each vacancy occurring on the Council and may indicate a preferred choice.

Each such list shall include the names and pertinent biographical data of not less than three individuals for each applicable vacancy and shall be accompanied by a statement by the Governor explaining how each such individual meets the requirements.

A Governor may not submit the names of individuals to the Secretary for appointment unless the Governor has determined that each such individual is qualified under the above requirements and unless the Governor has, to the extent practicable, first consulted with representatives of the commercial and recreational fishing interests of the State regarding those individuals.

If the Secretary determines that any individual is not qualified, the Secretary shall notify the Governor of that determination. The Governor shall then submit a revised list or resubmit the original list with an additional explanation of the qualifications of the individual in question.

Nominees cannot be appointed if they are acting as an agent of a foreign principal required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended, or if they are a registered Federal lobbyist pursuant to the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, as amended.