NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on a proposal to revise the guidelines for National Standard 1, 3 and 7 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The National Standard guidelines assist the eight regional fishery management councils and NOAA Fisheries in developing effective fishery management plans.
“The proposed revisions clarify and streamline the National Standard
guidelines, address concerns raised by partners and stakeholders during
the implementation of annual catch limits and accountability measures,
and provide flexibility to address fishery management issues,” said
Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “The
proposed revisions, if implemented, will result in better-managed and
more sustainable fisheries.”
The National Standard 1 guidelines provide guidance on preventing
overfishing while achieving the optimum yield (the amount of fish which
will provide the greatest overall benefit to the Nation, particularly
with respect to food production and recreational opportunities) from
each U.S. fishery. The National Standard 3 guidelines provide guidance
on managing a stock as a unit throughout its range, and the National
Standard 7 guidelines address minimizing costs and avoid duplication in
The proposed revisions do not establish new requirements or require
councils to revise their current fishery management plans. Rather, they
offer additional clarity and potential flexibility in meeting current
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act mandates.
The proposed revisions include:
● Increasing flexibility in setting timelines for rebuilding programs;
● Providing flexibility for better managing data-limited stocks;
● Clarifying guidance on which stocks require conservation and management;
● Enhancing current efforts by the councils to apply ecosystem approaches to management;
● Providing for more stable fisheries through guidance on multiyear
overfishing determinations, phasing in results of new stock assessments
and the carryover of the unused portion of annual catch limits to
● Adding a definition for “depleted stocks” to recognize non-fishing-related impacts to fish stocks, and;
● Recommending the councils re-evaluate the objectives of fishery
management plans, to ensure they reflect the changing needs of the
fishery, including allocation of fishery resources.
Public comments on the proposed rule are due June 30, 2015.
To learn more and read the proposed rule as well as to submit comments, visit:
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