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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.

Details on agency responses to committee recommendations can be found under the Performance Measures section for each committee in the fields “Agency Feedback” and “Agency Feedback Comment.”

DOC - 359 - Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee - Agency Authority


Committee NameMarine Fisheries Advisory CommitteeAgency NameDepartment of Commerce
Fiscal Year2022Committee 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 Date4/12/2022Designated Fed Officer Position Title*DFO
Date Of Renewal Charter4/12/2024Designated 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 and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 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 50 years, MAFAC has maintained a diverse group of professional and academic expert members who represent regional, tribal, 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, 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 64,700 in September 2022), and these announcements are usually shared through trade new outlets. In FY2022, during an open nomination process, the agency received the most diverse pool of applicants (self-identified) in our history.

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. 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. Topics for consideration on the agenda are derived from a mix of Department of Commerce (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 FY2022, MAFAC held three meetings, two by webinar and one in-person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic). We were pleased to be able to re-schedule an in-person meeting scheduled for April 2020 in Puerto Rico and hold it in May 2022. Virtual meetings were held in October 2021 and August 2022. During all 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 and activities that the MAFAC members focused on in FY2022 included: (1) recreational fishery data and data gaps; (2) business, economic, and workforce development issues facing fisheries, aquaculture, and seafood business; (3) understanding the effectiveness of deterrents to limit interactions of marine mammals with fishing gear or aquaculture operations; and (4) providing thoughtful and robust comments on NOAA Fisheries’ draft Equity and Environmental Justice Strategy.

At the October 2021 meeting, MAFAC members met the new Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, Janet Coit and heard Administration priorities. They discussed the strategic plans of the Subcommittee on Aquaculture, climate science and the Next-Gen Data Acquisition Plan, and were provided status updates on the fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget outlook, operations, facilities, and workforce management issues. MAFAC discussed planning efforts for the 2022 Recreational Fisheries Summit and received a progress report on the MAFAC Recreational Electronic Reporting Task Force work, focused on the generation, delivery, and use of electronic private recreational angler self-reported data to assist NOAA Fisheries in fulfilling its mission activities.

A large portion of the October 2021 meeting was focused on building resilient fisheries, the seafood sector, and coastal communities reliant on marine resources. Members fleshed out a work plan to address these primary questions: (1) What is the current state of the fishing/seafood/aquaculture workforce, and what are the gaps that need to be filled or changes that need to be made to ensure their resilience and adaptability to changes in the climate/ecosystem and markets; and (2) Specifically, what can NOAA do to assist these industries in preparing for the future? This discussion led to the creation of a four part work plan for FY2022 work.

The May 2022 meeting continued the theme of building resilient fisheries, and MAFAC members completed two deliverables. The meeting was convened to hear presentations, receive updates, and discuss NOAA and NMFS priorities; a national seafood strategy outline; aquaculture development; the NOAA Climate, Ecosystems, and Fisheries Initiative; offshore wind development and survey mitigation; outcomes from the recently held National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Summit; the NOAA Fisheries draft Equity and Environmental Justice Strategy; and budget outlook. A number of activities were organized to provide MAFAC members the opportunity to meet with Caribbean Fishery Management Council members from across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as two Puerto Rico fishing cooperatives to learn about their fisheries and resiliency issue. There was also a site visit to a Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant-funded queen conch aquaculture hatchery managed by one fishing cooperative in Naguabo Bay.

MAFAC received, discussed, and approved the final report of its Recreational Electronic Reporting Task Force, Critical Considerations for Implementing Electronic Reporting Methods in Recreational Fisheries. This report provides recommendations on five areas to NOAA to guide the development and implementation of a roadmap for the use of electronically reported recreational fishing data from private anglers. This report is the culmination of a two-year effort on the part of a Task Force of experts that reviewed literature, gathered input from other experts, and discussed a plethora of topics on electronic reporting in support of NOAA’s mission and sustainable recreational fisheries management.

Also at the May 2022 meeting, MAFAC approved a resolution related to workforce development needs of fisheries and seafood industries. The resolution encourages NOAA to conduct local needs assessments of all industries linked to fishing and seafood production and distribution and to employ its regional assets, including the National Sea Grant Extension Program Network, to accomplish it. MAFAC members planned to continue to work on workforce, training, and education issues through the end of 2022.

MAFAC held a one-day virtual meeting in August 2022 to discuss and consider draft comments and recommendations on NOAA Fisheries’ draft Equity and Environmental Justice Strategy. There was extensive and thoughtful debate as different perspectives were brought to the table during discussion. Members acknowledged that the topic itself and the issues raised can sometimes be difficult to discuss and trigger emotional responses. The group worked through these issues, learned from each other, developed comments and recommendations that focus on the national perspective of the strategy, noting that future implementation plans may have regional differences and perspectives. The final comments and recommendations were unanimously endorsed by all Members in attendance and transmitted to NOAA Fisheries leaders.
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 NOAA, the Department, and 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 can 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. Their reports from this work (October 2020) have subsequently been used and influenced Agency and Administration efforts to rebuild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin (2022).

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. 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 ResourcesYes
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. The Committee provides advice and feedback to the agency on strategic priorities, formal guidance documents, draft regulations, as well as on elements related to 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 $200,000 -$500,000 per year.Grants Review CommentNot Applicable
Number Of Recommendations*535Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentIn FY2022, MAFAC finalized three deliverables, including two reports and one resolution. This resulted in 13 recommendations:
1) Critical Considerations for Implementing Electronic Reporting Methods in Recreational Fisheries (5 recommendation areas). This report provides recommendations to NOAA to guide the development and implementation of a roadmap for electronically reported recreational fishing data from private anglers. The recommendations covering 5 topics (5 recommendations): data standards; angler recruitment, retention, and innovation; voluntary or mandatory requirements; data verification; use of other statistical methods (census or model-based approaches) in addition to probability based sampling, the gold standard.
2) One recommendation encouraging NOAA to conduct local needs assessments of all industries linked to fishing and seafood production and distribution.
3) Endorsement of the draft NOAA Fisheries Equity and Environmental Justice (EEJ) Strategy, with recommendations in seven (7) areas: (1) explicitly acknowledging historical and ongoing harms and examples of successful mitigation strategies developed within current law; (2) using an established equity framework to address all aspects of inequity; (3) clearly identify the expected benefits of the EEJ Strategy to underserved communities; (4) hold regional learning sessions; confront the structural issues in Fishery Management Councils leading to inequity and injustice; (6) develop implementation guidance for the regions; and (7) address inequities in research and data used in management.
Access Agency WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented*65.00%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 target the appropriate staff responsible for the issue of focus. The 65 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 FY2022 – approximately 65% of the Committee's recommendations were implemented or continue to be under consideration. In some cases, such as recommendations related to centering equity and environmental justice in all marine resource actions, MAFAC recommendations can influence the work of Fishery Management Councils, Commissions, and state agencies partners. As an example of the influence of past recommendations, the goals for restoring salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin worked on during FY2017 through early FY2021, are supporting current work.Access GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*20.00%Access PublicationsYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentThis is an estimate. Some recommendations are individually very detailed and actionable; in other cases, an entire suite of recommendations may be more policy focused not fully implementable in the short or medium term. 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 FAC web page on the NOAA Fisheries web site. If a older report is not on the website, it is available to the public by request to the DFO’s office.
Agency Feedback Comment*At the beginning of each meeting, specific discussions, presentation, or recaps of what the agency has done with MAFAC recommendations is provided in response to the most recent reports transmitted by the Committee. In addition, members of MAFAC are briefed by subject matter experts at each meeting on progress and status of 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*$4,508.90Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY*$5,418.70
Payments to Federal Staff*$230,482.60Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$264,641.94
Payments to Consultants*$0.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$52,558.08Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$95,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$1,429.43Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$1,700.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$7,056.47Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$7,000.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$0.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Other Costs$72,033.64Est. Other Costs Next FY*$125,000.00
Total Costs$368,069.12Est. Total Next FY*$498,760.64
Date Cost Last Modified10/28/2022 2:59 PMEst. Fed Staff Support Next FY*1.30
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*1.17Est Cost RemarksEstimate for FY2023 includes the cost estimate for two in-person public meetings. Transportation costs are estimated to be higher for two rather than one in-person meeting. "Other Costs" section includes a meeting planning contract that covers two public meetings, meeting rooms, meeting report/ minutes, court reporter, transcripts, and potential transportation for a site visit.
Cost RemarksActual costs closely aligned with the projected estimate from the prior year, based on reductions in projected travel due to the continuing pandemic. There was only 1 in person public meeting in FY22. The "Other Costs" section includes the cost for one public meeting with a meeting planning contract that covered costs for meeting rooms, meeting report/ minutes, court reporter, transcripts and transportation (group bus rental) for a site visit.  
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 Subcommittee2022
 COM-031543Ecosystem Approach Subcommittee2022
 COM-030811Executive Subcommittee2022
 COM-031780Protected Resources Subcommittee2022
 COM-032150Recreational Fisheries Subcommittee2022
 COM-032256Strategic Planning, Budget and Program Management Subcommittee2022


No Documents Found



Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-040213Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2021
 COM-037999Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee2020
 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