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FR Notice – Regional Fishery Management Council Membership; Financial Disclosure and Recusal (Nov. 16, 2018)

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes changes to the regulations that address disclosure of financial interests by, and voting recusal of, council members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to the regional fishery management councils established under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The regulatory changes are needed to provide guidance to ensure consistency and transparency in the calculation of a Council member’s financial interests; determine whether a close causal link exists between a Council decision and a benefit to a Council member’s financial interest; and establish regional procedures for preparing and issuing recusal determinations. This proposed rule is intended to improve regulations implementing the statutory requirements governing disclosure of financial interests and voting recusal at section 302(j) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before March 6, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by FDMS Docket Number NOAA–NMFS–2018–0092, by any of the following methods:

  • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2018-0092, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
  • Fax: 301–713–1175.
  • Mail: Submit written comments to Alan Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC3, Silver Spring, MD
    20910. Please mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘Financial Disclosure/ Recusal.’’

Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (for example, name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will  accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

Electronic copies of NMFS Policy Directive 01–116 Fishery Management Council Financial Disclosures and NMFS Procedural Directive 01–116–01 Procedures for Review of Fishery Management Council Financial Disclosures may be obtained at  https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/laws-and-policies/fisheries-management-policy-directives.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Brian Fredieu, 301–427–8505.

Click here for complete FR Notice.