(a) The Secretary shall establish a Commercial Fishing Safety Advisory Committee. The Committee—
(1) may advise, consult with, report to, and make recommendations to the Secretary on matters relating to the safe operation of vessels to which this chapter applies, including navigation safety, safety equipment and procedures, marine insurance, vessel design, construction, maintenance and operation, and personnel qualifications and training;
(2) may review proposed regulations under this chapter;
(3) may make available to Congress any information, advice, and recommendations that the Committee is authorized to give to the Secretary; and
(4) shall meet at the call of the Secretary, who shall call such a meeting at least once during each calendar year.
(b)(1) The Committee shall consist of eighteen members with particular expertise, knowledge, and experience regarding the commercial fishing industry as follows:
(A) ten members who shall represent the commercial fishing industry and who—
(i) reflect a regional and representational balance; and
(ii) have experience in the operation of vessels to which this chapter applies or as a crew member or processing line worker on a fish processing vessel;
(B) three members who shall represent the general public, including, whenever possible—
(i) an independent expert or consultant in maritime safety;
(ii) a marine surveyor who provides services to vessels to which this chapter applies; and
(iii) a person familiar with issues affecting fishing communities and families of fishermen;
(C) one member each of whom shall represent—
(i) naval architects and marine engineers;
(ii) manufacturers of equipment for vessels to which this chapter applies;
(iii) education or training professionals related to fishing vessel, fish processing vessel, or fish tender vessel safety or personnel qualifications;
(iv) underwriters that insure vessels to which this chapter applies; and
(v) owners of vessels to which this chapter applies.
(2) At least once each year, the Secretary shall publish a notice in the Federal Register and in newspapers of general circulation in coastal areas soliciting nominations for membership on the Committee, and, after timely notice is published, appoint the members of the Committee. An individual may be appointed to a term as a member of the Committee more than once. The Secretary may not seek or use information concerning the political affiliation of individuals in making appointments to the Committee.
(3)(A) A member of the Committee shall serve a term of three years.
(B) If a vacancy occurs in the membership of the Committee, the Secretary shall appoint a member to fill the remainder of the vacated term.
(4) The Committee shall elect one of its members as the Chairman and one of its members as the Vice Chairman. The Vice Chairman shall act as Chairman in the absence or incapacity of, or in the event of a vacancy in the office of, the Chairman.
(5) The Secretary shall, and any other interested agency may, designate a representative to participate as an observer with the Committee. These representatives shall, as appropriate, report to and advise the Committee on matters relating to vessels to which this chapter applies which are under the jurisdiction of their respective agencies. The Secretary's designated representative shall act as executive secretary for the Committee and perform the duties set forth in section 10(c) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 App. U.S.C.).
(c)(1) The Secretary shall, whenever practicable, consult with the Committee before taking any significant action relating to the safe operation of vessels to which this chapter applies.
(2) The Secretary shall consider the information, advice, and recommendations of the Committee in consulting with other agencies and the public or in formulating policy regarding the safe operation of vessels to which this chapter applies.
(d)(1) A member of the Committee who is not an officer or employee of the United States or a member of the Armed Forces, when attending meetings of the Committee or when otherwise engaged in the business of the Committee, is entitled to receive—
(A) compensation at a rate fixed by the Secretary, not exceeding the daily equivalent of the current rate of basic pay in effect for GS–18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5 including travel time; and
(B) travel or transportation expenses under section 5703 of title 5.
(2) Payments under this section do not render a member of the Committee an officer or employee of the United States or a member of the Armed Forces for any purpose.
(3) A member of the Committee who is an officer or employee of the United States or a member of the Armed Forces may not receive additional pay based on the member's service to the Committee.
(4) The provisions of this section relating to an officer or employee of the United States or a member of the Armed Forces do not apply to a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces unless that member is in an active status.
(e)(1) The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 App. U.S.C.) applies to the Committee, except that the Committee terminates on September 30, 2020.
(2) Two years prior to the termination date referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Committee shall submit to Congress its recommendation regarding whether the Committee should be renewed and continued beyond the termination date.
(Added Pub. L. 100–424, §2(a), Sept. 9, 1988, 102 Stat. 1588; amended Pub. L. 101–225, title I, §106, Dec. 12, 1989, 103 Stat. 1910; Pub. L. 102–241, §25, Dec. 19, 1991, 105 Stat. 2217; Pub. L. 104–324, title III, §304(b), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3917; Pub. L. 107–295, title III, §331(a), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2105; Pub. L. 108–293, title IV, §418(a), Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1049; Pub. L. 109–241, title IX, §901(g), July 11, 2006, 120 Stat. 564; Pub. L. 111–281, title VI, §604(c)(1)–(3), Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2964, 2965.)
Last modified: October 26, 2015