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Revised conflict of interest form proposed for fishery management councils

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Members of regional fishery management councils will likely have to complete a revised form to guard against conflicts of interest. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is unveiling a proposed revision to the Statement of Financial Interests, Regional Fishery Management Councils. NOAA is officially releasing the proposal on Monday, Jan. 27. You can read it at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-27/html/2014-01429.htm.

NOAA is opening a second public comment period on the proposal, this one through January 26. For background, see the story linked to below.

The 330 or so council members will need an average of 35 minutes to complete the revised form, NOAA estimates.

Federal law requires that members disclose financial interests in “harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing activity that is being, or will be, undertaken within any fishery over which the council concerned has jurisdiction, or with respect to an individual or organization with a financial interest in such activity.”

Members are not allowed to vote on any matter in which they possess a financial interest, though they may take part in council deliberations.

The proposed revision would clarify instructions and provide examples and updates.

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