Marine Mammal Protection Act List of FisheriesList of Fisheries | Background | Classification Criteria | Reporting Requirements | Category I and II Fishery Requirements | More Information
» Final 2017 List of Fisheries, effective March 21, 2017
(82 FR 3655)
Dall's Porpoise, entangled
What is the List of Fisheries?
The List of Fisheries (LOF) classifies U.S. commercial fisheries into one of three Categories according to the level of incidental mortality or serious injury of marine mammals:
- frequent incidental mortality or serious injury of marine mammals
- occasional incidental mortality or serious injury of marine mammals
- remote likelihood of / no known incidental mortality or serious injury of marine mammals
The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) mandates that each fishery be classified by the level of mortality and serious injury of marine mammals that occurs incidental to each fishery is reported in the annual Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports for each stock.
The LOF classifies all U.S. commercial fisheries by Category in four tables:
Table 1. Pacific Ocean (including Alaska) fisheries
Table 2. Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean fisheries
Table 3. High Seas fisheries (from 2009-present)
Table 4. Fisheries affected by Take Reduction Teams (TRT) (from 2009-present)
A fishery may qualify as one Category for one marine mammal stock and another Category for a different marine mammal stock. A fishery is typically categorized on the LOF according to its highest level of classification (e.g., a fishery that qualifies for Category III for one marine mammal stock and Category II for another marine mammal stock will be listed under Category II).
For more information on the fishery classification criteria, please see below.
NOAA Fisheries has developed and implemented fishery classification criteria, which consists of a two-tiered, stock-specific approach.
This two-tiered approach first addresses the total impact of all fisheries on each marine mammal stock and then addresses the impact of individual fisheries on each stock. This approach is based on the rate, in numbers of animals per year, of incidental mortalities and serious injuries of marine mammals due to commercial fishing operations relative to a stock's Potential Biological Removal (PBR) level. The PBR level is defined (50 CFR 229.2) as the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities, that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population.
While Tier 1 considers the cumulative fishery mortality and serious injury for a particular stock, Tier 2 considers fishery-specific mortality for a particular stock.
Tier 1: Annual mortality and serious injury across all fisheries that interact with a stock:
- If the total is ≤10% of the PBR level of this stock, all fisheries interacting with this stock would be placed in Category III. Otherwise, these fisheries are subject to the next tier (Tier 2) of analysis to determine their classification.
Tier 2: Annual mortality and serious injury of a stock in a given fishery is:
- Category I: ≥50% of the PBR level
- Category II: between 1% and 50% of the PBR level
- Category III: ≤1% of the PBR level
Additional details regarding how threshold percentages between the categories were determined [pdf] are provided in the preamble to the final rule implementing section 118 [pdf] of the MMPA, (60 FR 45086, August 30, 1995).
Since fisheries are categorized on a per-stock basis, a fishery may qualify as one Category for one marine mammal stock and another Category for a different marine mammal stock. A fishery is typically categorized on the LOF according to its highest level of classification (e.g., a fishery that qualifies for Category III for one marine mammal stock and Category II for another marine mammal stock will be listed under Category II).
Am I Required to Submit Reports When I Kill or Injure a Marine Mammal During the Course of Commercial Fishing Operations?
Any vessel owner or operator, or fisher (in the case of non-vessel fisheries), participating in a Category I, II, or III fishery must report all incidental mortalities or injuries of marine mammals that occur during commercial fishing operations to NMFS (50 CFR 229.6).
"Injury" is defined in 50 CFR 229.2 as a wound or other physical harm. In addition, any animal that ingests fishing gear, or any animal that is released with fishing gear entangling, trailing, or perforating any part of the body is considered injured and must be reported.
Owners of vessels or gear engaging in a Category I or II fishery, are required under 50 CFR 229.4 to obtain a marine mammal authorization by registering with the Marine Mammal Authorization Program (MMAP).
Upon receipt of a completed registration, NMFS will issue vessel or gear owners a decal to display on their vessels and an authorization certificate that the operator must possess while fishing.
Registration Fees: The procedures and fees associated with registration differ between Regions. For most fisheries, NMFS has integrated the MMPA registration process with existing state and Federal fishery license, registration, or permit systems and related programs. Participants in these fisheries are automatically registered under the MMPA and are not required to pay the $25 registration fee.
Fishers participating in a Category I or II fishery are required to accommodate an observer onboard vessel(s) upon request (50 CFR 229.7).
Take Reduction Planning
Fishers participating in a Category I or II fishery are required to comply with any applicable take reduction plans. NMFS may develop and implement take reduction plans for any Category I or II fishery that interacts with a strategic stock.
- Fishing Gear and Risks to Protected Species
- Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports (SARs)
- Guidelines for Assessing Marine Mammal Stocks (GAMMS)
- Policy for Distinguishing Serious From Non-Serious Injuries of Marine Mammals (2012)
- Serious Injury Technical Workshop Report (2007) [pdf]
- Serious Injury Workshop Report (1997): Differentiating Serious and Non-Serious Injury of Marine Mammals Taken Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations [pdf]
- 2005 Environmental Assessment on the LOF [pdf]
- 1995 Environmental Assessment on the LOF [pdf]
Updated: February 7, 2017