The Office of Sustainable Fisheries (OSF) is a Headquarters program office of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS or NOAA Fisheries Service). OSF works to manage fish stocks important to commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries through guidance and support of Regional Offices and Regional Fishery Management Councils (RFMC). OSF also strives to facilitate effective communication between and among constituents and supports a variety of seafood safety measures.
OSF helps to implement the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 (MSA), which:
- Mandates the use of annual catch limits and
measures to end overfishing
- Provides for widespread market-based fishery management
through catch shares, and
- Calls for increased international cooperation
OSF coordinates the NMFS annual report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries, as well as the Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program (BREP), and manages Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) fisheries.
OSF provides oversight and advice to Regional Fishery Management Councils (RFMC)and the NMFS Regional Offices by:
- Developing guidance on Council operations and administration
- Overseeing the clearance of regulatory actions
- Providing guidance with respect to social impacts of management programs and social impact assessments
- Providing guidance with respect to economic analysis of management actions and economic assessment
OSF also oversees all document processing, including proposed and final regulations, for publication in the Federal Register, and prepares guidance for conducting economic and social analyses of regulatory actions.
The National Seafood Inspection Laboratory (NSIL) in Pascagoula, MS, is also a part of OSF, where it supports the Department of Commerce Seafood Inspection Program. Our FishWatch website is a consumer guide designed to help you make informed decisions about the seafood you eat.