(1) Each year, the 3-year terms for approximately one-third of the appointed members of the Councils expire. The Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) will appoint or new members or will reappoint seated members to another term to fill the seats being vacated.
(2) There are two categories of seats to which voting members are appointed: “Obligatory” and “At-large.”
(i) Obligatory seats are state specific. Each constituent state is entitled to one seat on the Council on which it is a member, except that the State of Alaska is entitled to five seats and the State of Washington is entitled to two seats on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. When the term of a state's obligatory member is expiring or when that seat becomes vacant before the expiration of its term, the governor of that state must submit the names of at least three qualified individuals to fill that Council seat.
(ii) The Magnuson-Stevens Act also provides for appointment, by the Secretary, of one treaty Indian tribal representative to the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council). To fill that seat, the Secretary solicits written nominations from the heads of governments of those Indian Tribes with federally recognized fishing rights from the States of California, Oregon, Washington, or Idaho. The list of nominees must contain a total of at least three individuals who are knowledgeable and experienced regarding the fishery resources under the authority of the Pacific Council. The Secretary will appoint one tribal Indian representative from this list to the Pacific Council for a term of 3 years and rotate the appointment among the tribes.
(iii) At-large seats are regional. When the term of an at-large member is expiring or when that seat becomes vacant before the expiration of a term, the governors of all constituent states of that Council must each submit the names of at least three qualified individuals to fill the seat.
(b) Responsibilities of State Governors.
(1) Council members are selected by the Secretary from lists of nominees submitted by Governors of the constituent states, pursuant to section 302(b)(2)(C) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. For each applicable vacancy, a Governor must submit the names of at least three nominees who meet the qualification requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. A Governor must provide a statement explaining how each of his/her nominees meet the qualification requirements, and must also provide appropriate documentation to the Secretary that each nomination was made in consultation with commercial and recreational fishing interests of that state and that each nominee is knowledgeable and experienced by reason of his or her occupational or other experience, scientific expertise, or training in one or more of the following ways related to the fishery resources of the geographical area of concern to the Council:
(i) Commercial fishing or the processing or marketing of fish, fish products, or fishing equipment;
(ii) Fishing for pleasure, relaxation, or consumption, or experience in any business supporting fishing;
(iii) Leadership in a state, regional, or national organization whose members participate in a fishery in the Council's area of authority;
(iv) The management and conservation of natural resources, including related interactions with industry, government bodies, academic institutions, and public agencies. This includes experience serving as a member of a Council, Advisory Panel, Scientific and Statistical Committee, or Fishing Industry Advisory Committee;
(v) Representing consumers of fish or fish products through participation in local, state, or national organizations, or performing other activities specifically related to the education or protection of consumers of marine resources; or
(vi) Teaching, journalism, writing, consulting, practicing law, or researching matters related to fisheries, fishery management, and marine resource conservation.
(2) To assist in identifying qualifications, each nominee must furnish to the appropriate governor's office a current resume, or equivalent, describing career history - with particular attention to experience related to the criteria in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. Nominees may provide such information in any format they wish.
(3) A constituent State Governor must determine the state of residency of each of his/her nominees. A Governor may not nominate a non-resident of that state for appointment to a Council seat obligated to that state. A Governor may nominate residents of another constituent state of a Council for appointment to an at large seat on that Council.
(4) If, at any time during a term, a member changes residency to another state that is not a constituent state of that Council, or a member appointed to an obligatory seat changes residency to any other state, the member may no longer vote and must resign from the Council. For purposes of this paragraph, a state resident is an individual who maintains his/her principal residence within that constituent state and who, if applicable, pays income taxes to that state and/or to another appropriate jurisdiction within that state.
(5) When the terms of both an obligatory member and an at-large member expire concurrently, the Governor of the state holding the expiring obligatory seat may indicate that the nominees who were not selected for appointment to the obligatory seat may be considered for appointment to an at-large seat, provided that the resulting total number of nominees submitted by that governor for the expiring at-large seat is no fewer than three different nominees.
(c) Nominees to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
(1) The Governors of States submitting nominees to the Secretary for appointment to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council shall include:
(i) At least one nominee each from the commercial, recreational, and charter fishing sectors, except that an individual who owns or operates a fish farm outside the United States shall not be considered to be a representative of the commercial or recreational sector; and
(ii) At least one other individual who is knowledgeable regarding the conservation and management of fisheries resources in the jurisdiction of the Council.
(2) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, if the Secretary determines that the list of names submitted by the Governor does not meet the requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the Secretary shall:
(i) Publish a notice in the Federal Register asking the residents of that State to submit the names and pertinent biographical data of individuals who would meet the requirements of this section that were not met for appointment to the Council; and
(ii) Add the name of any qualified individual submitted by the public who meets the requirements of this section that were not met to the list of names submitted by the Governor.
(3) The requirements of this paragraph (c) shall expire at the end of fiscal year 2012, meaning through September 30, 2012.
(d) Responsibilities of eligible tribal Indian governments. The tribal Indian representative on the Pacific Council will be selected by the Secretary from a list of no fewer than three individuals submitted by the tribal Indian governments with federally recognized fishing rights from California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, pursuant to section 302(b)(5) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. To assist in assessing the qualifications of each nominee, each head of an appropriate tribal Indian government must furnish to the Assistant Administrator a current resume, or equivalent, describing the nominee's qualifications, with emphasis on knowledge and experience related to the fishery resources affected by recommendations of the Pacific Council. Prior service on the Pacific Council in a different capacity will not disqualify nominees proposed by tribal Indian governments.
(e) Nomination deadlines. Nomination packages (governors' letters and completed nomination kits) must be forwarded by express mail under a single mailing to arrive at the address specified by the Assistant Administrator by March 15. For appointments outside the normal cycle, the Secretary will provide a deadline for receipt of nominations to the affected Council and state governors.
(1) Obligatory seats.
(i) The Governor of the state for which the term of an obligatory seat is expiring should submit the names of at least three qualified individuals to fill that seat by the March 15 deadline. The Secretary will appoint to the Pacific Fishery Management Council a representative of an Indian tribe from a list of no fewer than three individuals submitted by the tribal Indian governments.
(ii) If the Governor or tribal Indian governments fail to provide a nomination letter and at least three complete nomination kits by March 15, the obligatory seat will remain vacant until all required information has been received and processed and the Secretary has made the appointment.
(2) At-large seats.
(i) If a Governor chooses to submit nominations for an at-large seat, he/she must submit lists that contain at least three qualified nominees for each vacant seat. A nomination letter and a nomination kit for each qualified nominee must be forwarded by express mail under a single mailing to arrive at the address specified by the Assistant Administrator by March 15.
(ii) Nomination packages that are not substantially complete by March 15 may be returned to the nominating Governor. At-large members will be appointed from among the nominations submitted by the governors who complied with the nomination requirements.
(f) Responsibilities of the Secretary.
(1) The Secretary must, to the extent practicable, ensure a fair and balanced apportionment, on a rotating or other basis, of the active participants (or their representatives) in the commercial and recreational fisheries in the Council's area of authority. Further, the Secretary must take action to ensure, to the extent practicable, that those persons dependent for their livelihood upon the fisheries in the Council's area of authority are fairly represented as voting members on the Councils.
(2) The Secretary will review each list submitted by a governor or the tribal Indian governments to ascertain whether the individuals on the list are qualified for the vacancy. If the Secretary determines that a nominee is not qualified, the Secretary will notify the appropriate Governor or tribal Indian government of that determination. The Governor or tribal Indian government shall then submit a revised list of nominees or resubmit the original list with an additional explanation of the qualifications of the nominee in question. The Secretary reserves the right to determine whether nominees are qualified.
(3) The Secretary will select the appointees from lists of qualified nominees provided by the Governors of the constituent Council states or of the tribal Indian governments that are eligible to nominate candidates for that vacancy.
(i) For Governor-nominated seats, the Secretary will select an appointee for an obligatory seat from the list of qualified nominees submitted by the governor of the state. In filling expiring at-large seats, the Secretary will select an appointee(s) for an at-large seat(s) from the list of all qualified candidates submitted. The Secretary will consider only complete slates of nominees submitted by the governors of the Council's constituent states. When an appointed member vacates his/her seat prior to the expiration of his/her term, the Secretary will fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term by selecting from complete nomination letters and kits that are timely and contain the required number of candidates.
(ii) For the tribal Indian seat, the Secretary will solicit nominations of individuals for the list referred to in paragraph (c) of this section only from those Indian tribes with federally recognized fishing rights from California, Oregon, Washington, or Idaho. The Secretary will consult with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, to determine which Indian tribes may submit nominations. Any vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of any term shall be filled in the same manner as described in paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section, except that the Secretary may use the list referred to in paragraph (b)(1) of this section from which the vacating member was chosen. The Secretary shall rotate the appointment among the tribes, taking into consideration:
(A) The qualifications of the individuals on the list referred to in paragraph (c) of this section.
(B) The various rights of the Indian tribes involved, and judicial cases that set out the manner in which these rights are to be exercised.
(C) The geographic area in which the tribe of the representative is located.
(D) The limitation that no tribal Indian representative shall serve more than three consecutive terms in the Indian tribal seat.