NOAA Fisheries Strategic Plan
Glossary of Terms
- Biodiversity - The Biodiversity Convention defines biodiversity as "the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems."
- Bycatch - The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act defines bycatch as "fish which are harvested in a fishery, but which are not sold or kept for personal use, and includes economic discards and regulatory discards...[but not] fish released alive under a recreational catch and release fishery management program."
- Cetaceans - Marine mammals consisting of whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
- Commercial fishing - The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act defines commercial fishing as "fishing in which the fish harvested, either in whole or in part, are intended to enter commerce through sale, barter or trade."
- Council - This refers to the Regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to prepare Fishery Management Plans and amendments for fisheries in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.
- Endangered Species Act (ESA) - The ESA is a statute which was enacted in 1973 to conserve species and ecosystems. Under its auspices, species facing possible extinction are listed as "threatened" or "endangered," or as "candidate" species for such listings. When such a listing is made, recovery and conservation plans are drawn up to ensure the protection of the species and its habitat.
- Essential Fish Habitat - The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act defines essential fish habitat as "those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding or growth to maturity."
- Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) - The EEZ comprises an area which extends from the seaward boundaries of the coastal states (3 nautical miles, in most cases) to 200 miles off the coast of the United States. Within this area, the United States claims and exercises sovereign rights and exclusive fishery management authority over all fish and all Continental Shelf fishery resources.
- Fishery - The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act defines fishery as "one or more stocks of fish which can be treated as a unit for purposes of conservation and management and which are identified on the basis of geographical, scientific, technical, recreational, and economic characteristics; and...any fishing for such stocks."
- Fishing Community - The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act defines fishing community as "a community which is substantially dependent on or substantially engaged in the harvest or processing of fishery resources to meet social and economic needs, and includes fishing vessel owners, operators, and crew and United States fish processors that are based in such community."
- Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA) - The MSFCMA is a statute which was enacted in 1976 primarily to establish an Exclusive Economic Zone (see definition above) in which foreign fishing could be controlled, and to set up a conservation and management structure for U.S. fisheries. Senator Ted Stevens' name was appended to the title of the statute last year.
- Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) - The MMPA is a statute which was enacted in 1972 to protect marine mammals and their habitat. These species include whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, walruses, and many others.
- Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) - MSY is the largest long-term average catch or yield that can be taken from a stock or stock complex under prevailing ecological and environmental conditions.
- Optimum Yield - The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act defines optimum yield as "(A) the amount of fish which will provide the greatest overall benefit to the Nation, particularly with respect to food production and recreational opportunities, and taking into account the protection of marine ecosystems; (B) is prescribed as such on the basis of the maximum sustainable yield from the fishery, as reduced by any relevant economic, social, or ecological factor; and (C) in the case of an overfished fishery, provides for rebuilding to a level consistent with producing the maximum sustainable yield in such fishery."
- Overfishing - The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act defines overfishing as "a rate or level of fishing mortality that jeopardizes the capacity of a fishery to produce the maximum sustainable yield on a continuing basis."
- Pinniped - Marine mammals consisting of seals, sea lions, and walruses.
- Protected Species - As used in this document, protected species refers to any species which is protected by either the ESA or the MMPA, and which is under the jurisdiction of NOAA Fisheries. This includes all threatened, endangered, and candidate species, as well as all cetaceans and pinnipeds excluding walruses.
- Recreational Fishing - The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act defines recreational fishing as "fishing for sport or pleasure."
- Stock (of fish) - The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act defines stock as "a species, subspecies, geographical grouping, or other category of fish capable of management as a unit."
- Subsistence Fishing - Subsistence fishing means fishing for personal consumption or traditional/ceremonial purposes.
- Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA) - The SFA is a statute enacted in 1996 which amended the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Among its provisions were mandatory overfishing elimination and stock rebuilding, the establishment of a program to protect essential fish habitat, and the establishment of a new national standard for bycatch reduction.
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