|Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the Department
of Commerce is establishing a Federal Advisory Committee on Marine Protected
Areas, and is now accepting nominations for the committee.
“Marine Protected Areas are a hot issue nationally right now, as
new areas are being considered in the Pacific region,” said Faleomavaega.
“This advisory committee will be providing the public input into setting
national policy on the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
MPA’s can be established to protect endangered or threatened species, and
become controversial when they are established in existing fishing areas.”
“The federal government is seeking individuals with diverse interests
from throughout the United States, and persons of Pacific Islander heritage
are being sought. In this regard, I will be pleased to nominate all
qualified persons from American Samoa,” said the Congressman.
The Departments of Commerce and the Interior have been directed
to seek expert advice and recommendations of non-federal scientists, resource
managers, and other interested persons and organizations on, among other
things, strategies and priorities for developing a national system of MPAs
and on practical approaches to further enhance and expand protection of
new and existing MPAs. Approximately 30 individuals will be selected.
Individuals seeking membership on the committee should possess demonstrable
expertise in marine conservation or a related field, or represent a stakeholder
interest affected by MPAs. Nominees will also be evaluated based
on the following factors: marine policy experience, leadership and
organizational skills, region of the country represented, and diversity
Nominations are encouraged from all interested parties, such as
scientific societies; academic and research institutions; groups or governments
representing Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Caribbean
Islanders and Pacific Islanders; states, territories and localities; interest
groups such as the fishing (recreational and commercial), boating, diving,
recreational , maritime, historical and philanthropic communities; and
Additional details on the nomination process can be found on pages
50503-50504 of the Federal Register dated August 18, 2000. Nominations
may be made directly to the Department of Commerce, and should be postmarked
on or before October 2, 2000. Persons seeking a nomination by the
Congressman should submit a statement describing their qualifications,
and a biography, to him no later than September 28th.