[117th Congress Public Law 121]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

[[Page 1187]]


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Public Law 117-121
117th Congress

                                 An Act

To establish the American Fisheries Advisory Committee to assist in the 
  awarding of fisheries research and development grants, and for other 
              purposes. <<NOTE: May 12, 2022 -  [S. 497]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: American 
Fisheries Advisory Committee Act.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 15 USC 701 note.>>  SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``American Fisheries Advisory Committee 

    (a) Establishment.--Section 2 of the Act of August 11, 1939 (15 
U.S.C. 713c-3), is amended--
            (1) by redesignating subsection (e) as subsection (f); and
            (2) by inserting after subsection (d) the following:

    ``(e) American Fisheries Advisory Committee.--
            ``(1) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                    ``(A) Committee.--The term `Committee' means the 
                American Fisheries Advisory Committee established under 
                paragraph (2).
                    ``(B) Fishing community.--The term `fishing 
                community' means harvesters, marketers, growers, 
                processors, recreational fishermen, charter fishermen, 
                and persons providing them with goods and services.
                    ``(C) Marketing and promotion.--The term `marketing 
                and promotion' means an activity aimed at encouraging 
                the consumption of seafood or expanding or maintaining 
                commercial markets for seafood.
                    ``(D) Processor.--The term `processor' means any 
                person in the business of preparing or packaging seafood 
                (including seafood of the processor's own harvesting) 
                for sale.
                    ``(E) Seafood.--The term `seafood' means farm-raised 
                and wild-caught fish, shellfish, or marine algae 
                harvested in the United States or by a United States 
                flagged vessel for human consumption.
            ``(2) <<NOTE: Deadline. Regions.>>  Establishment.--Not 
        later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of the 
        American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act, the Secretary shall 
        establish 6 regions within the American Fisheries Advisory 
        Committee as follows:
                    ``(A) Region 1 shall consist of Alaska, Hawaii, the 
                Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the 
                Territories of Guam and American Samoa.
                    ``(B) Region 2 shall consist of Maine, New 
                Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

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                    ``(C) Region 3 shall consist of Texas, Alabama, 
                Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, Puerto Rico, 
                and the Territory of the Virgin Islands of the United 
                    ``(D) Region 4 shall consist of California, 
                Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
                    ``(E) Region 5 shall consist of New Jersey, New 
                York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, 
                South Carolina, and Georgia.
                    ``(F) Region 6 shall consist of Michigan, Minnesota, 
                Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
            ``(3) Membership.--The Committee shall be composed of the 
        following members:
                    ``(A) Regional representation.--Each of the regions 
                listed in subparagraphs (A) through (F) of paragraph (2) 
                shall be represented on the Committee by 3 members--
                          ``(i) <<NOTE: Appointments.>>  who are 
                      appointed by the Secretary;
                          ``(ii) who reside in a State or territory in 
                      the region that the member will represent;
                          ``(iii) of which--
                                    ``(I) one shall have experience as a 
                                seafood harvester or processor;
                                    ``(II) one shall have experience as 
                                recreational or commercial fisher or 
                                have experience growing seafood; and
                                    ``(III) one shall be an individual 
                                who represents the fisheries science 
                                community or the relevant Regional 
                                Fishery Management Council; and
                          ``(iv) that are selected so that the members 
                      of the Committee have experience or expertise with 
                      as many seafood species as practicable.
                    ``(B) <<NOTE: Appointments.>>  At-large members.--
                The Secretary shall appoint to the Committee at-large 
                members as follows:
                          ``(i) One individual with experience in food 
                      distribution, marketing, retail, or food service.
                          ``(ii) One individual with experience in the 
                      recreational fishing industry supply chain, such 
                      as fishermen, manufacturers, retailers, and 
                          ``(iii) One individual with experience in the 
                      commercial fishing industry supply chain, such as 
                      fishermen, manufacturers, retailers, and 
                          ``(iv) One individual who is an employee of 
                      the National Marine Fisheries Service with 
                      expertise in fisheries research.
                    ``(C) Balanced representation.--In selecting the 
                members described in subparagraphs (A) and (B), the 
                Secretary shall seek to maximize on the Committee, to 
                the extent practicable, a balanced representation of 
                expertise in United States fisheries, seafood 
                production, and science.
            ``(4) Member terms.--The term for a member of the Committee 
        shall be 3 years, except that the Secretary shall designate 
        staggered terms for the members initially appointed to the 
            ``(5) Responsibilities.--The Committee shall be responsible 
                    ``(A) identifying needs of the fishing community 
                that may be addressed by a project funded with a grant 
                under subsection (c);

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                    ``(B) developing the request for proposals for such 
                    ``(C) reviewing applications for such grants; and
                    ``(D) selecting applications for approval under 
                subsection (c)(2)(B).
            ``(6) Chair.--The Committee shall elect a chair by a 
        majority of those voting, if a quorum is present.
            ``(7) Quorum.--A simple majority of members of the Committee 
        shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold 
            ``(8) Meetings.--
                    ``(A) Frequency.--The Committee shall meet not more 
                than 2 times each year.
                    ``(B) Location.--The meetings of the Committee shall 
                rotate between the geographic regions described under 
                paragraph (2).
                    ``(C) Minimizing costs.--The Committee shall seek to 
                minimize the operational costs associated with meetings, 
                hearings, or other business of the Committee, including 
                through the use of video or teleconference.
            ``(9) Designation of staff member.--The Secretary shall 
        designate a staff member to coordinate the activities of the 
        Committee and to assist with administrative and other functions 
        as requested by the Committee.
            ``(10) <<NOTE: Reimbursements.>>  Per diem and expenses and 
                    ``(A) In general.--A member of the Committee shall 
                serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed in 
                accordance with section 5703 of title 5, United States 
                Code, for reasonable travel costs and expenses incurred 
                in performing duties as a member of the Committee.
                    ``(B) Funding.--The costs of reimbursements under 
                subparagraph (A) and the other costs associated with the 
                Committee shall be paid from funds made available to 
                carry out this section (which may include funds 
                described in subsection (f)(1)(B)), except that no funds 
                allocated for grants under subsection (f)(1)(A) shall be 
                expended for any purpose under this subsection.
            ``(11) <<NOTE: Applicability.>>  Conflict of interest.--The 
        conflict of interest and recusal provisions set out in section 
        302(j) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
        Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1852(j)) shall apply to any decision 
        by the Committee and to all members of the Committee as if each 
        member of the Committee is an affected individual within the 
        meaning of such section 302(j), except that in addition to the 
        disclosure requirements of section 302(j)(2)(C) of such Act (16 
        U.S.C. 1852(j)(2)(C)), each member of the Committee shall 
        disclose any financial interest or relationship in an 
        organization or with an individual that is applying for a grant 
        under subsection (c) held by the member of the Committee, 
        including an interest as an officer, director, trustee, partner, 
        employee, contractor, agent, or other representative.
            ``(12) Technical review of applications.--
                    ``(A) <<NOTE: Evaluation.>>  In general.--Prior to 
                review of an application for a grant under subsection 
                (c) by the Committee, the Secretary shall obtain an 
                independent written technical evaluation from 3 or more 
                appropriate Federal, private,

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                or public sector experts (such as industry, academia, or 
                governmental experts) who--
                          ``(i) have subject matter expertise to 
                      determine the technical merit of the proposal in 
                      the application;
                          ``(ii) shall independently evaluate each such 
                      proposal; and
                          ``(iii) <<NOTE: Certification.>>  shall 
                      certify that the expert does not have a conflict 
                      of interest concerning the application that the 
                      expert is reviewing.
                    ``(B) Guidance. <<NOTE: Deadlines.>> --Not later 
                than 180 days after the date of enactment of the 
                American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act, the Secretary 
                shall issue guidance related to carrying out the 
                technical evaluations under subparagraph 
                (A). <<NOTE: Criteria.>>  Such guidance shall include 
                criteria for the elimination by the National Oceanic and 
                Atmospheric Administration of applications that fail to 
                meet a minimum level of technical merit as determined by 
                the review described in subparagraph (A).''.

    (b) Role in Approval of Grants.--Section 2(c)(3) of the Act of 
August 11, 1939 (15 U.S.C. 713c-3(c)(3)), is amended to read as follows:
    ``(3)(A) No application for a grant under this subsection may be 
approved unless the Secretary--
            ``(i) is satisfied that the applicant has the requisite 
        technical and financial capability to carry out the project; and
            ``(ii) <<NOTE: Recommenda- tions. Evaluation.>>  based on 
        the recommendations of the American Fisheries Advisory Committee 
        established in subsection (e), evaluates the proposed project as 
                    ``(I) soundness of design;
                    ``(II) the possibilities of securing productive 
                    ``(III) minimization of duplication with other 
                fisheries research and development projects;
                    ``(IV) the organization and management of the 
                    ``(V) methods proposed for monitoring and evaluating 
                the success or failure of the project; and
                    ``(VI) such other criteria as the Secretary may 

    ``(B) <<NOTE: Document.>>  If the Secretary fails to provide funds 
to a grant selected by the American Fisheries Advisory Committee, the 
Secretary shall provide a written document to the Committee justifying 
the decision.''.

    Section 2(c)(1) of the Act of August 11, 1939 (15 U.S.C. 713c-
3(c)(1)), is amended by inserting ``fisheries science, recreational 
fishing,'' before ``harvesting,''.

    Section 2(c) of the Act of August 11, 1939 (15 U.S.C. 713c-3(c)), is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
            ``(6) <<NOTE: Statement.>>  Any person awarded a grant under 
        this subsection shall make publicly available a title and 
        abstract of the project to be carried out by the grant funds 
        that serves as the public justification for funding the project 
        that includes a statement describing how the project serves to 
        enhance United States

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        fisheries, including harvesting, processing, marketing, and 
        associated infrastructures, if applicable.''.

    Approved May 12, 2022.


SENATE REPORTS: No. 117-68 (Comm. on Commerce, Science, and
            Mar. 10, considered and passed Senate.
            Apr. 26, considered and passed House.