Commissioner Manual

Welcome to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission!

Thank you for your desire and willingness to take on the public trust responsibility of managing and restoring the public’s coastal marine fisheries resources. This manual is designed to support you in this important job by providing the information you need to be an effective Commissioner.

Key topics include:

  • How and why the Commission was formed
  • Our mission, vision and goals
  • How the Commission functions and is organized
  • What our major programs, activities, and funding sources are
  • Who the people are within the Commission (fellow Commissioners and ASMFC staff).

This manual is a product of the hard work of a special committee of Commissioners (some who have moved on and others who are still serving as Commissioners) – Steve Bowman, Bernie Pankowski, April Price, Malcolm Rhodes and Ritchie White. They worked closely and tirelessly with staff members Laura Leach and Tina Berger to produce this completely revised Commissioner Manual. Their insight, creativity and attention to detail were invaluable. They all deserve our heartfelt thanks for both their efforts and a product that is well done.

I think you will find this manual to be a useful tool in quickly bringing you up to speed on the Commission and your role. We welcome your feedback on its contents and your recommendations for improvements. This is a dynamic document and will be revised as necessary through updates distributed via email and posted to our website, Our website is intended to be a user friendly, one stop source for all critical Commission information, including almost all Commission publications. I suggest you visit it as soon as you can.

Your first opportunity to see what the Commission does, and observe how Commissioners interact, will be at the next quarterly meeting of the Commission. You will be seated with the other two Commissioners from your state. I would encourage you to contact them prior to your first meeting for any advice they might offer. Please contact me if you have any questions that are not readily answered in this manual or on the website – we can be reached at (703) 842-0740.

Our Commission was formed in 1942 by the 15 member states for the purpose of protecting and managing marine fisheries within the states’ jurisdiction. Our states recognized that they could accomplish far more through cooperation than through their individual efforts. That founding principle has been maintained through the years thanks to the selfless dedication of citizens like you who have stepped forward to share their time, expertise, and judgment to advance our vision of sustainably managing Atlantic coastal fisheries!

Welcome aboard!

Robert E. Beal