International Pacific Halibut Commission Appointments

In Spring 2012, NOAA Fisheries publicly solicited nominations for two presidential appointments to serve as U.S. Commissioners to the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). While the nomination list included many strong candidates, the combination of a number of factors resulted in the decision to re-initiate this public nomination process.

These factors include heightened interest by diverse user groups, the lapse of time since original nominees expressed interest in an appointment, and considerations of balanced representation on the Commission. In their official IPHC duties, Commissioners represent the interests of the United States and all of its stakeholders in the Pacific halibut fishery, while working to develop the Pacific halibut stocks to levels that will permit the optimum yield from the Pacific halibut fishery. Thus, NOAA is again soliciting nominations for two individuals to serve as U.S. Commissioners to the IPHC.


Nominations must be received by February 15, 2013. A list of nominees will be published on the NMFS Alaska Regional Office Web site ( on February 19, 2013. Public comments relating to this list of nominees will be accepted until March 18, 2013.


ADDRESSES: Nominations for U.S. Commissioners to the IPHC may be made in writing to Mr. Patrick E. Moran, Office of International Affairs, National Marine Fisheries Service, at 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Nominations may also be sent via fax (301-713-2313) or email ( Please send all public comments via email to

 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Patrick E. Moran,  (301) 427-8370.


The IPHC is a bilateral regional fishery management organization 

established pursuant to the Convention between Canada and the United 

States for the Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the North Pacific 

Ocean and Bering Sea (Convention). The Convention was signed at Ottawa, 

Ontario, on March 2, 1953, and was amended by a Protocol Amending the 

Convention signed at Washington, DC, on March 29, 1979. The 

Convention's central objective is to develop the stocks of Pacific 

halibut in waters off the west coasts of Canada and the United States 

to levels that will permit the optimum yield from the Pacific halibut 

fishery and to maintain the stocks at those levels. The IPHC fulfills 

this objective in part by recommending Pacific halibut fishery 

conservation and management measures for approval by the United States 

and Canada. Pursuant to the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982, the 

Secretary of State, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Commerce, 

may accept or reject, on behalf of the United States, conservation and 

management measures recommended by the IPHC. 16 U.S.C. 773b. Measures 

accepted by the Secretary of State are adopted as binding regulations 

governing fishing for Pacific halibut in Convention waters of the 

United States. 16 U.S.C. 773c(b)(1). More information on the IPHC can 

be found at

    Section 773a of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (16 U.S.C. 

773a) requires that the United States be represented on the IPHC by 

three U.S. Commissioners. U.S. Commissioners are appointed for a term 

not to exceed 2 years, but are eligible for reappointment. Of the 


    (1) One must be an official of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 

Administration; and

    (2) Two must be knowledgeable or experienced concerning the 

Northern Pacific halibut fishery; of these, one must be a resident of 

Alaska and the other shall be a nonresident of Alaska. Of the three 

commissioners described in paragraphs (1) and (2), one must also be a 

voting member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

    (3) Commissioners who are not Federal employees are not considered 

to be Federal employees except for the purposes of injury compensation 

or tort claims liability as provided in section 8101 et seq. of title 5 

and section 2671 et seq. of title 28.

    In their official IPHC duties, Commissioners represent the 

interests of the United States and all of its stakeholders in the 

Pacific halibut fishery. These duties require a modest amount of travel 

(typically two or three trips per year lasting less than a week), and 

travel expenses are paid by the U.S. Department of State. Commissioners 

receive no compensation for their services.

Nomination Process

    NOAA Fisheries is currently accepting nominations for two U.S. 

Commissioners for the IPHC who are not officials of NOAA. Successful 

nominees will be considered for appointment by the President and 

(pending Presidential action) interim designation by the Department of 


    Nomination packages should provide details of an individual's 

knowledge and experience in the Pacific halibut fishery. Examples of 

such knowledge and/or experience could include (but are not limited to) 

such activities as: Participation in commercial, tribal, Community 

Development Quota (CDQ) and/or sport and charterboat halibut fishing 

operations; participation in halibut processing operations; and 

participation in Pacific halibut management activities

    Nomination packages should document an individual's qualifications 

and state of residence. Self-nominations are acceptable, and current 

and former IPHC Commissioners are eligible for reappointment. 

R[eacute]sum[eacute]s, curriculum vitae, and/or letters of 

recommendation are useful but not required. Nomination packages will be 

evaluated on a case-by-case basis by officials in NOAA and the 

Department of Commerce who are familiar with the duties and 

responsibilities of IPHC Commissioners; evaluations will consider the 

aggregate of an individual's prior experience and knowledge of the 

Pacific halibut fishery, residency requirements, and any letters of 

recommendation provided. Nominees will be notified of their status 

(including rejection or approval) and any need for further information 

once the nomination process is complete.