Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced yesterday the 2022 Regional Fishery Management Council (RFMC) appointments.
The recreation sector acknowledges the following appointments: Richard Bellavance of Rhode Island to the New England Council; Scott Lenox of Maryland and Ken Neill of Virginia to the Mid-Atlantic Council; Gary Borland of South Carolina to the South Atlantic Council; Michael McDermott of Mississippi, Troy Williamson of Texas, and Thomas Frazer of Florida to the Gulf of Mexico Council; Peter Hassemer of Idaho and Marc Gorelnik of California to the Pacific Council, and Nicole Kimball of Alaska to the North Pacific Council.
“For too long, recreation has been woefully underrepresented on regional fishery management councils – the main venues for saltwater fisheries management decision-making in U.S. waters,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “Today, thanks to Secretary Raimondo and her team, the recreational boating and angling community can celebrate the appointments to these vital governing bodies, which provide our community with additional seats at the table and will help ensure the health of our fisheries for generations to come.”
“We are happy to see Secretary Raimondo’s thoughtful approach to the 2022 round of council appointments where she had many knowledgeable candidates from which to choose,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “We hope with these appointments, the Commerce Department and NOAA Fisheries are seeking a new path forward in the way America’s federal fisheries are managed. Conservation and opportunity for the public to access healthy marine fisheries should be top priority in all regions.”
“The work of the regional fishery management councils continues to evolve in both complexity and scope,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “We appreciate the appointment of leaders from the recreational fishing community known for working collaboratively to improve federal fisheries management and recreational fishing access.”
“Our regional fishery management councils are critical for the proper management of our nation’s federal marine fisheries,” said Jason Schratwieser, president of the International Game Fish Association. “Achieving balanced representation from the recreational sector will ensure that recreational anglers will have a voice in developing fisheries policies that benefit both recreational anglers and marine resources.”
“BTT is appreciative of Secretary Raimondo’s 2022 federal regional fishery management council appointments,” said Jim McDuffie, president and CEO of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. “Effective representation on the councils helps ensure good management decisions, which are critical for healthy marine fisheries and ecosystems.”
“Members of the stakeholder-driven regional fishery management councils play a vital role in managing our nation’s fisheries resources,” said Chris Horton, senior director of fisheries policy for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “We applaud the Secretary of Commerce for this year’s slate of well qualified appointees, and we congratulate the new members along with those who were reappointed. We look forward to working with them to ensure we have healthy and abundant marine fisheries, as well as providing access for America’s anglers to those fisheries.”