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                                                      Calendar No. 674
114th Congress    }                                      {      Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session       }                                      {     114-379                                                                
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                     

               AMERICAN FISHERIES ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 3087

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


               November 17, 2016.--Ordered to be printed
                                 ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

69-010                         WASHINGTON : 2016 

















       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                    one hundred fourteenth congress
                             second session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
 ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
 MARCO RUBIO, Florida                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
 KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
 TED CRUZ, Texas                      RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
 DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
 JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  ED MARKEY, Massachusetts
 DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 CORY BOOKER, New Jersey
 RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TOM UDALL, New Mexico
 DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  JOE MANCHIN, West Virginia
 CORY GARDNER, Colorado               GARY PETERS, Michigan
 STEVE DAINES, Montana
                       Nick Rossi, Staff Director
                 Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director
                    Jason Van Beek, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director
                 Clint Odom, Democratic General Counsel

















                                                      Calendar No. 674
114th Congress    }                                      {      Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session       }                                      {     114-379

======================================================================



 
               AMERICAN FISHERIES ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT

                                _______
                                

               November 17, 2016.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Thune, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 3087]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 3087) to establish the American 
Fisheries Advisory Committee to assist in the awarding of 
fisheries research and development grants and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and 
recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purposes of the American Fisheries Advisory Committee 
Act are to create a committee to identify the needs of the 
seafood industry, develop requests for proposals, review grant 
applications, and select applications for approval for grants. 
This Act also would require all decisions to be at the 
discretion of the Secretary of Commerce and the American 
Fisheries Advisory Committee (AFAC) to meet not more than 
biannually.

                          Background and Needs

    The fishery management standards established by the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
(MSA)\1\ have led to the recovery of most stocks of federally 
managed fish. As of 2015, less than 10 percent of stocks were 
overfished.\2\ One of the reasons stocks have recovered is that 
the 2006 revisions to the MSA required hard annual catch limits 
on stocks.\3\ Thus, in recent years, in order to increase 
profits, fishermen have had to focus primarily on increasing 
the value of their catch rather than catching more fish.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\16 U.S.C.  1801 et seq.
    \2\National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Status of 
Stocks 2015: Annual Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries, 
April 2016, at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/fisheries_eco/
status_of_fisheries/archive/2015/2015_status_of_stocks_updated.pdf.
    \3\Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Reauthorization Act of 2006, Public Law 109-479; 120 Stat. 3575.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Saltonstall-Kennedy Fund was established to ``carry out 
a national program of research and development addressed to 
such aspects of United States fisheries including, but not 
limited to, harvesting, processing, marketing, and associated 
infrastructures.''\4\ It is funded by tariffs on imported 
fishery products.\5\ Originally, an advisory committee oversaw 
the Saltonstall-Kennedy Fund's activity,\6\ but the authority 
for that advisory committee terminated after a 2-year period 
pursuant to section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee 
Act.\7\ After the advisory committee was terminated, funds were 
and continue to be distributed by the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), either as grants or to fund 
internal projects. Concerns have been raised that NOAA does not 
distribute grants in accordance with the Saltonstall-Kennedy 
Fund's governing statute. For example, out of the 50 grants 
given out by NOAA in 2016, only 3 have been to improve the 
marketing of fish.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\15 U.S.C.  713c-3
    \5\Ibid.
    \6\Ibid.
    \7\5 U.S.C. App.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         Summary of Provisions

    The American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act would 
establish AFAC, which would evaluate grants and make 
recommendations on which projects should be funded by the 
Saltonstall-Kennedy Fund and how funds should be distributed.

                          Legislative History

    On June 22, 2016, the American Fisheries Advisory Committee 
Act was introduced by Senator Sullivan and cosponsored by 
Senators Cantwell and Murkowski.
    On June 29, 2016, the Committee met in open Executive 
Session and, by a voice vote, ordered S. 3087 to be reported 
favorably with an amendment (in nature of a substitute).
    The Committee adopted six amendments to the measure. 
Senator Markey offered four amendments, all of which were 
accepted. Those amendments would: require grant recipients to 
publicly post the title and abstract of the project; reorganize 
geographic areas; require an at-large member of AFAC to 
represent the fisheries science community; provide criteria by 
which the Secretary of Commerce should evaluate grant 
applications; and require the Secretary of Commerce to submit 
to AFAC a justification if the recommendations of AFAC were not 
followed. An amendment offered by Senator Schatz to require 
representatives of recreational fishing interests to be 
included on AFAC also was accepted. A second degree amendment 
offered by Senator Wicker, and accepted, would realign the 
geographic specifications for the makeup of AFAC.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 3087--American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act

    S. 3087 would establish the American Fisheries Advisory 
Committee within the Department of Commerce (DOC). The 
committee would comprise three representatives from each of six 
geographic regions and seven at-large members with experience 
in the seafood and fisheries industries, as selected by DOC. 
Under the bill, the committee would be responsible for 
identifying needs of the fishing industry, developing requests 
for grants to meet those needs, and reviewing and selecting 
applications for an existing grant program for approval by DOC. 
Under current law, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) 
within DOC is responsible for those activities. In 2016, the 
program awarded 50 grants totaling $11 million. That amount is 
derived from permanent authority to spend certain customs 
duties that are imposed on imported fishery products.
    Based on an analysis of information from DOC, CBO estimates 
that the committee's operations would cost $2 million a year 
over the 2017-2021 period to operate the grant program However, 
because any increases in amounts spent on administering the 
grant program would result in a corresponding reduction in 
amounts awarded for the grants, CBO estimates that implementing 
S. 3087 would have no significant net effect on the federal 
budget. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the 
bill would have an insignificant effect on direct spending. 
Enacting S. 3087 would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 3087 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
    S. 3087 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Stephen Rabent. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                           Regulatory Impact

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    The American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act, as reported, 
would cover a person applying for a Saltonstall-Kennedy Fund 
grant. In 2015, 50 grants were submitted.

                            economic impact

    Enactment of this legislation is not expected to have any 
significant adverse impacts on the Nation's economy.

                                privacy

    This bill would not have any adverse impact on the privacy 
of individuals.

                               paperwork

    The Secretary of Commerce would be required to provide a 
written document to AFAC justifying a decision not to provide 
funding for a grant selected by AFAC.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section provides the short title of the bill, the 
``American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act.''

Section 2. American Fisheries Advisory Committee.

    This section would establish AFAC. There would be six 
regions within the AFAC. Each region would consist of a group 
of States, territories, or possessions of the United States. 
Each of the regions would be represented on AFAC by three 
members, as well as seven at-large members.
    The responsibilities of AFAC would include: identifying the 
needs of the seafood industry that may be addressed by a 
project funded with grants; developing requests for proposals; 
reviewing grant applications; and selecting applications for 
approval for grants. AFAC would meet not more than biannually. 
All decisions would be subject to approval by the Secretary of 
Commerce.

Section 3. Public availability of grant proposals.

    This section would require a person awarded a grant under 
section 2(c) of the Act of August 11, 1939 (15 U.S.C. 713c-
3(c)) to make publicly available the title and abstract of the 
project.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

                         ACT OF AUGUST 11, 1939


                            [53 Stat. 1412]

SEC. 2. PROMOTION OF THE FREE FLOW OF DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED FISHERY 
                    PRODUCTS.

[15 U.S.C.713c-3]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  (c) Fisheries Research and Development Projects.--
          (1) The Secretary shall make grants from the fund 
        established under subsection (b) to assist persons in 
        carrying out research and development projects 
        addressed to any aspect of United States fisheries, 
        including, but not limited to, harvesting, processing, 
        marketing, and associated infrastructures.
          (2) The Secretary shall--
                  (A) at least once each fiscal year, receive, 
                during a 60-day period specified by him, 
                applications for grants under this subsection;
                  (B) prescribe the form and manner in which 
                applications for grants under this subsection 
                must be made, including, but not limited to, 
                the specification of the information which must 
                accompany applications to ensure that the 
                proposed projects comply with Federal law and 
                can be evaluated in accordance with paragraph 
                (3)(B); and
                  (C) approve or disapprove each such 
                application before the close of the 120th day 
                after the last day of the 60-day period 
                (specified under subparagraph (A)) in which the 
                application was received.
          [(3) No application for a grant under this subsection 
        may be approved unless the Secretary--
                  [(A) is satisfied that the applicant has the 
                requisite technical and financial capability to 
                carry out the project; and
                  [(B) evaluates the proposed project as to--
                          [(i) soundness of design,
                          [(ii) the possibilities of securing 
                        productive results,
                          [(iii) minimization of duplication 
                        with other fisheries research and 
                        development projects,
                          [(iv) the organization and management 
                        of the project,
                          [(v) methods proposed for monitoring 
                        and evaluating the success or failure 
                        of the project, and
                          [(vi) such other criteria as the 
                        Secretary may require.]
  (3)(A) No application for a grant under this subsection may 
be approved unless--
                  (i) the Secretary is satisfied that the 
                applicant has the requisite technical and 
                financial capability to carry out the project;
                  (ii) the Secretary evaluates the proposed 
                project as to--
                          (I) the selections of the Committee 
                        established in subsection (f);
                          (II) soundness of design;
                          (III) the possibilities of securing 
                        productive results;
                          (IV) minimization of duplication with 
                        other fisheries research and 
                        development projects;
                          (V) the organization and management 
                        of the project;
                          (VI) methods proposed for monitoring 
                        and evaluating the success or failure 
                        of the project; and
                          (VII) such other criteria as the 
                        Secretary may require; and
                  (iii) the application selected for funding 
                meets the proposal developed by the American 
                Fisheries Advisory Committee under subsection 
                (f).
          (B) Justification.--If the Secretary fails to provide 
        funds to a grant selected by the Committee, the 
        Secretary shall provide a written document to the 
        Committee justifying the decision.
          (4) Each grant made under the subsection shall be 
        subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary 
        may require to protect the interests of the United 
        States, including, but not limited to, the following:
                  (A) The recipient of the grant must keep such 
                records as the Secretary shall require as being 
                necessary or appropriate for disclosing the use 
                made of grant funds and shall allow the 
                Secretary and the Comptroller General of the 
                United States, or any of their authorized 
                representatives, access to such records for 
                purposes of audit and examination.
                  (B) The amount of a grant may not be less 
                than 50 percent of the estimated cost of the 
                project.
                  (C) The recipient of the grant must submit to 
                the Secretary periodic project status reports.
          (5)(A) If the cost of a project will be shared by the 
        grant recipient, the Secretary shall accept, as a part 
        or all of that share, the value of in-kind 
        contributions made by the recipient, or made available 
        to, and applied by, the recipient, with respect to the 
        project.
                  (B) For purposes of subparagraph (A), in-kind 
                contributions may be in the form of, but are 
                not limited to, personal services rendered in 
                carrying out functions related to, and 
                permission to use real or personal property 
                owned by others (for which consideration is not 
                required) in carrying out the project. The 
                Secretary shall establish (i) the training, 
                experience, and other qualifications which 
                shall be required in order for services to be 
                considered as in-kind contributions; and (ii) 
                the standards under which the Secretary will 
                determine the value of in-kind contributions 
                for purposes of subparagraph (A).
                  (C) Any valuation determination made by the 
                Secretary for purposes of this paragraph shall 
                be conclusive.
          (6) 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 fisheries, 
        including harvesting, processing, marketing, and 
        associated infrastructures, if applicable.
  (d) National Fisheries Research and Development Program.--
          (1) The Secretary shall carry out a national program 
        of research and development addressed to such aspects 
        of United States fisheries (including, but not limited 
        to, harvesting, processing, marketing, and associated 
        infrastructures), if not adequately covered by projects 
        assisted under subsection (c), as the Secretary deems 
        appropriate.
          (2) The Secretary shall, after consultation with 
        appropriate representatives of the fishing industry, 
        submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on 
        Merchant Marine and Fisheries of the House of 
        Representatives, an annual report, that must be 
        submitted not later than 60 days before the close of 
        each fiscal year, containing--
                  (A) the fisheries development goals and 
                funding priorities under paragraph (1) for the 
                next fiscal year;
                  (B) a description of all pending projects 
                assisted under subsection (c) or carried out 
                under paragraph (1), in addition to--
                          (i) a list of those applications 
                        approved and those disapproved under 
                        subsection (c), and the total amount of 
                        grants made, for the current fiscal 
                        year, and
                          (ii) a statement of the extent to 
                        which available funds were not 
                        obligated or expended by the Secretary 
                        for grants under subsection (c) during 
                        the current fiscal year; and
                  (C) an assessment of each project assisted 
                under subsection (c) or carried out under 
                paragraph (1) that was completed in the 
                preceding fiscal year regarding the extent to 
                which (i) the objectives of the project were 
                attained, and (ii) the project contributed to 
                fishery development.
  (e) Allocation of Fund Moneys.--
          (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all 
        moneys in the fund shall be used exclusively for the 
        purpose of promoting United States fisheries in 
        accordance with the provisions of this section, and no 
        such moneys shall be transferred from the fund for any 
        other purpose. With respect to any fiscal year, all 
        moneys in the fund, including the sum of all unexpended 
        moneys carried over into that fiscal year and all 
        moneys transferred to the fund under subsection (b) or 
        any other provision of law with respect to that fiscal 
        year, shall be allocated as follows:
                  (A) the Secretary shall use no less than 60 
                per centum of such moneys to make direct 
                industry assistance grants to develop the 
                United States fisheries and to expand domestic 
                and foreign markets for United States fishery 
                products pursuant to subsection (c) of this 
                section; and
                  (B) the Secretary shall use the balance of 
                the moneys in the fund to finance those 
                activities of the National Marine Fisheries 
                Service which are directly related to 
                development of the United States fisheries 
                pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.
          (2) The Secretary shall, consistent with the number 
        of meritorious applications received with respect to 
        any fiscal year, obligate or expend all of the moneys 
        in the fund described in paragraph (1). Any such moneys 
        which are not expended in a given fiscal year shall 
        remain available for expenditure in accordance with 
        this section without fiscal year limitation, except 
        that the Secretary shall not obligate such moneys at a 
        rate less than that necessary to prevent the balance of 
        moneys in the fund from exceeding $3,000,000 at the end 
        of any fiscal year.
  (f) 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 or shellfish 
                harvested in the United States or by a United 
                States flagged vessel for human consumption.
          (2) 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.
                  (C) Region 3 shall consist of Texas, Alabama, 
                Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, 
                Puerto Rico, and territory of the Virgin 
                Islands.
                  (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) 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;
                                  (II) one shall have 
                                experience as a processor; and
                                  (III) one shall have 
                                experience as a recreational 
                                fisher; and
                          (iv) that are selected so that the 
                        members of the Committee have 
                        experience or expertise with as many 
                        seafood species as practicable.
                  (B) At-large members.--The Secretary shall 
                appoint to the Committee at-large members to 
                ensure that the Committee fairly reflects the 
                expertise and interest of the fishing community 
                located in each region, as follows:
                          (i) One individual with experience in 
                        mass market food distribution.
                          (ii) One individual with experience 
                        in mass market food retail or food 
                        service.
                          (iii) One individual with experience 
                        in the marketing of seafood.
                          (iv) One individual with experience 
                        in growing seafood.
                          (v) One individual with experience as 
                        a recreational fisher.
                          (vi) One individual who is an 
                        employee of the National Marine 
                        Fisheries Service with expertise in 
                        fisheries research.
                          (vii) One individual that represents 
                        the fisheries science community.
          (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 Committee.
          (5) Responsibilities.--The Committee shall be 
        responsible for--
                  (A) identifying needs of the fishing 
                community that may be addressed by a project 
                funded with a grant under subsection (c);
                  (B) developing the request for proposals for 
                such grants;
                  (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 hearings.
          (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).
          (9) Staff.--The Committee may employ staff as 
        necessary.
          (10) Per diem and expenses and funding.--
                  (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 reimbursements made under 
                subparagraph (A) shall be paid with the funds 
                made available for grants under subsection (c).
          (11) 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.

                                  [all]