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NOAA committee to discuss plans for Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization

The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee has scheduled two meetings for this month to discuss reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation & Management Act. The committee, an offshoot of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC), announced the planned meetings in the Federal Register of Monday, June 2, 2014. The committee will try to come up with advice for the bill's reauthorization.

The public is welcome to listen in to the meetings, which will take place via telephone. Public access is also available at the NMFS office at 1315 East-West Hwy., Silver Spring, Md. 20910. If you wish to listen in, contact contact Heidi Lovett by phone at (301) 427-8004, or by email at heidi.lovett@noaa.gov. The meetings are scheduled to take place on Thursday, June 12, 2014, 3-5 p.m. and Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 3-5 p.m., ET. The facility is accessible to people with disabilities. But if you need assistance such as a sign language interpreter, contact Lovett by June 6.

The committee was formed in 1971 to provide guidance to DoC on all marine matters under its jurisdiction, after being created by a 1970 law. The agenda for the meetings are subject to change. The committee intends to present its recommendations to NOAA's fisheries assistant administrator.

The committee has also tentatively planned a three-day meeting for somewhere in the Washington, DC area starting on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. And if you are really interested in the committee, it is looking for new members. It is taking nominations until July 7. Committee members serve for three-year terms and may not serve for more than two consecutive terms. The committee meets twice a year in person, plus telephone meetings like the above and subcommittee meetings.

Nominees should have some expertise in living marine matters. They cannot be federal employees or members of regional fisheries councils. The committee consists of between 15 and 21 members.