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The American people enjoy the riches and benefits of healthy and diverse marine ecosystems.
As a steward, NOAA Fisheries has an obligation to conserve, protect, and manage living marine resources in a way that ensures their continuation as functioning components of marine ecosystems, affords economic opportunities, and enhances the quality of life for the American public.
Stewardship of living marine resources through science-based conservation and management and the promotion of healthy ecosystems.
NOAA Fisheries is responsible for the management, conservation and protection of living marine resources within the United States Exclusive Economic Zone. NOAA Fisheries also plays a supportive and advisory role in the management of living marine resources in coastal areas under state jurisdiction, provides scientific and policy leadership in the international arena and implements international conservation and management measures as appropriate.
Under this mission, the goal is to optimize the benefits of living marine resources to the Nation through sound science and management. This requires a balancing of multiple public needs and interests in the sustainable benefits and use of living marine resources, without compromising the long-term biological integrity of coastal and marine ecosystems.
Many factors, both natural and human-related, affect the status of fish stocks, protected species and ecosystems. Although these factors cannot all be controlled, available scientific and management tools enable the agency to have a strong influence on many of them. Maintaining and improving the health and productivity of these species is the heart of our stewardship mission. These activities will maintain and enhance current and future opportunities for the sustainable use of living marine resources as well as the health and biodiversity of their ecosystems.