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 (http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/) on February 19, 2013. Public comments relating to this list of nominees will be accepted until March 18, 2013.
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 http://www.iphc.int.
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
(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.
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.