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How are Federal Living Marine Resources Managed?
The nation's premier fisheries law, the Magnuson Fishery Conservation Act, created eight Regional Fishery Management Councils that work in partnership with NOAA Fisheries to manage marine fish stocks. The council membership is a balance of commercial and recreational fishermen, marine scientists, and state and federal fisheries managers, who combine their knowledge to prepare fishery management plans for marine fish stocks in their respective geographic areas. These plans can limit fishing effort, seasons, fishing gear, the number of fishermen allowed to fish for a certain species, and the total amount of fish that can be caught. The federal management process provides many opportunities for input from fishermen and others concerned with the use of these resources.
Similarly, NOAA Fisheries protects and conserves marine mammals, sea turtles, and other threatened and endangered marine species by implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. Major threats to marine mammals and sea turtles in the U.S. include, but are not limited to: destruction and alteration of habitats; incidental capture in commercial and recreational fisheries; entanglement in marine debris; and vessel strikes. NOAA Fisheries promulgates regulations to minimize these and other threats to the recovery of protected species.
How are Fisheries Rules and Regulations Made?
What Marine Resource Laws Apply to NOAA Fisheries?
NOAA Fisheries' ocean stewardship responsibilities are directed by many federal laws in addition to the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Endangered Species Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act.
For a comprehensive listing of the regulations established by NOAA Fisheries, see the Regulations.gov portal.