The role of the Council is to develop fishery management plans needed to manage fishery resources within federal waters off the Mid-Atlantic coast. The Council is made up of 21 voting and 4 non-voting representatives. Voting members include one Federal representative, seven members from the constituent states' fish and wildlife agencies, and 13 private citizens who are knowledgeable about recreational or commercial fishing, or marine conservation. These 13 citizens are nominated by the governors of their respective states and are appointed to the Council by the Secretary of Commerce. The four non-voting members representing the ASMFC, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Designated State and Federal Officials
The Council's voting members include the principal state official in the government position with marine fishery management responsibility (or his or her designee) for each of the seven Mid-Atlantic Council states and the Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for the Greater Atlantic Region, or his or her designee. State and federal officials may name an individual to attend Council meetings in their absence.
The Council also includes thirteen voting members who are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. Of these, seven obligatory seats are state-specific and must be filled by one individual from each of the Council’s constituent states, and six at-large seats may be filled by individuals from any constituent state. Appointed members are appointed for a term of three years and may be reappointed. Members may not serve more than three consecutive terms.
Non-voting members of the Council may serve on committees of the Council and may serve as chairpersons of committees and, as members of the committee, may initiate and second motions, as well as vote on matters that pertain to the committee. At meetings of the Council, non-voting members may neither initiate nor second motions, nor vote on matters that may be classified as business of the Council. They may, however, participate fully in discussions of such matters.