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:
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
OSF also oversees all document processing, including proposed and final regulations, for publication in the Federal Register, and prepares guidance for Social Impact Assessment.
OSF partners with state and federal agencies to provide communication avenues among our constituents and Councils. OSF provides national policy and oversight for NMFS interactions with coastal states and island territories, Interstate Marine Fisheries Commissions (IMFC), and national groups. OSF works to increase communication between the agency, our constituents and the general public.
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.