NOAA Fisheries Strategic Plan
Foundations for Stewardship - Foundation 4
FOUNDATION 4: Enforcement and regulatory effectiveness
The NOAA Office of Enforcement is charged with developing and carrying out programs, poli-cies, and procedures necessary to enforce all statutes and regulations within NOAAs broad jurisdiction. More than 29 different statutes and acts require such enforcement activities. Although fisheries and protected species management plans are based on scientific research, these same plans are defined and administered through laws and regulations. Ensuring compliance with these laws and regulations is a key factor in the success of the plans. Fulfillment of our mission thus requires effective law enforcement programs and measures designed to educate the American public, deter potential offenders, and detect, apprehend and prosecute willful violators.
During the next 5 years, we will strengthen our enforcement and regulatory effectiveness by:
- Reducing violations which threaten common trust fishery resources by increasing our focus on international conspiratorial crimes that unlawfully remove fish or protected resources from the marine habitats of coastal states or the high seas.
- Curtailing violations involving illegal sale or shipment of contaminated seafood in interstate and international commerce.
- Increasing voluntary compliance through expanded interactions with constituents, including articulating the biological and economic benefits of compliance.
- Increasing observed compliance with spatial and temporal regulations for fisheries by using new technology and by promoting the use of vessel monitoring systems.
- Increasing the quality of investigations and prosecutions by improving NOAA Fisheries marine forensic science capabilities, expanding our use of forensic auditing and accounting procedures, and using advanced technologies to obtain evidence.
- Making regulations more comprehensible to those affected by them, especially fishermen. We will gain a better understanding of how our regulations affect our constituents. Then we will work with the regions and Councils to provide proposed regulatory language that reduces complexity, increases comprehension, and ensures enforceability.
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