NOAA Fisheries Feature

Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Reauthorized

MSRA Reauthorization Details
National Standard 1
Marine Recreational Information Program
National Environmental Policy Act
Limited Access Privilege Programs
International Provisions
Deep-Sea Corals
Other Provisions

2009 National Standard 1 Guidelines

The Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act of 2006 established new requirements to end and prevent overfishing through the use of annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs). Federal fishery management plans must establish mechanisms for ACLs and AMs by 2010 for stocks subject to overfishing and by 2011 for all others. The Act also specified additional requirements for the role of scientific advice in this process, specifically through the Councils' Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSCs).




  • 2012 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Since the guidelines were last updated in 2009, a number of issues regarding the application of the guidelines were identified by stakeholders and managers that may warrant their revision. An Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published on May 3, 2012 to potentially revise the National Standard 1 Guidelines.

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document now includes guidance for setting ABCs and ACLs for data limited stocks. (May 27, 2011)


Rules and Notices

NMFS has compiled a question and answer document related to annual catch limits and the National Standard 1 (NS1) guidelines. This document contains common questions about provisions in the NS1 guidelines and is intended to be fully consistent with the guidelines. Any discrepancies between this document and the NS1 guidelines as published in the Federal Register on January 16, 2009 (74 FR 3178) will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.

On February 17, 2009, NMFS issued final guidelines for National Standard 1 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). This action provides guidance on how to comply with new annual catch limit (ACL) and accountability measure (AM) requirements for ending overfishing of fisheries managed by Federal fishery management plans. This action is necessary to facilitate compliance with requirements of the MSA to end and prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks and achieve optimum yield. These changes are effective February 17, 2009, and can be viewed here.

View public comments: Public comments on the proposed revisions to the NS1 guidelines can be viewed at the Federal e-Rulemaking portal: You can search for documents regarding the National Standard 1 guidelines under "Advanced docket search" using "0648-AV60" as the RIN keyword. In the next screen, click on the docket ID "NOAA-NMFS-2008-0096." Then click "Go" to view the various documents and public comments.

On June 9, 2008, NMFS published in the Federal Register (73 FR 32526) proposed revisions to the National Standard 1 Guidelines to include guidance for these and other new requirements related to preventing overfishing and rebuilding overfished stocks. This guidance would assist regional fishery management councils and NMFS in developing ACLs and AMs to end and prevent overfishing in all U.S. commercial and recreational fisheries, consistent with National Standard 1. NMFS provides guidelines to facilitate consistent application of the 10 national standards in the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Public comments on the proposed revisions will be accepted through September 22, 2008.

NMFS extended the public comment until September 22, 2008

Press Release

Related Documents

Productivity and Susceptibility Analysis - determining the vulnerability of a stock to aid in meeting ACL requirements

List of references cited in the National Standard 1 guidelines published on January 16, 2009.

On August 27, 2008 (73 FR 50585), NMFS withdrew the 2005 proposed revisions to National Standard 1 guidelines (70 FR 36240). NMFS went ahead with a new rule to address new provisions enacted in 2007 in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act.

NMFS held 3 public sessions in July, 2008, to go over proposed revisions to National Standard 1. Sessions were held in Seattle, Silver Spring, MD, and St. Petersburg, FL.
Presentation summarizing changes
Federal Register Notice of public sessions

Regulatory Impact Review and Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis for Revisions to National
Standard 1 Guidelines to Address Annual Catch Limit and Other Measures to End Overfishing and
Rebuild Overfished Stocks

Comments Received, February – April 2007

Between February 14, 2007 and April 17, 2007, NMFS solicited public comments on the scope and issues to consider in developing such guidance. A report of the comments received was released in July 2007.

  • Federal Register Notice (2/14/07)
  • Scoping Documents
  • Report of Public Comments Received, July 2007
    • Summary of Comments
    • Appendix A Federal Register Notice of Intent (72 FR 7016; 02/14/07)
    • Appendix B Federal Register Notice (72 FR 8971; 02/28/07) announcing additional scoping meetings and extension of comment period
    • Appendix C Federal Register Notice (72 FR 12770; 03/19/07) announcing additional scoping meetings
    • Appendix D NOAA Press Releases announcing the start of the scoping period and individual scoping meetings
    • Appendix E Print of the power point slides that constituted the scoping presentation at all the scoping meetings (English and Spanish versions)
    • Appendix F Handout provided at scoping meetings (English and Spanish versions)
    • Appendix G1 All letters and e-mails from the general public
    • Appendix G2 All letters and e-mails from commercial fishers and processors
    • Appendix G3 All letters and e-mails from recreational fishers and recreational charter fishers
    • Appendix G4 All letters and e-mails from Regional Fishery Management Councils
    • Appendix G5 All letters and e-mails from the environmental community
    • Appendix G6 All letters and e-mails from government agencies and representatives



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