The Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act of 2006 (The Act) established new requirements to end and prevent overfishing through the use of annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs). Federal fishery management plans must establish mechanisms for ACLs and AMs by 2010 for fisheries subject to overfishing and by 2011 for all others. The Act also specified additional requirements for the role of scientific advice in this process, specifically through the Fishery Management Councils’ Scientific and Statistical Committees.
On February 14, 2007, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries Service) announced in the Federal Register a proposal to develop guidance for these new requirements. This guidance would assist regional fishery management councils and NOAA Fisheries Service in developing ACLs and AMs to end and prevent overfishing in all U.S. commercial and recreational fisheries. Between February 14, 2007, and April 17, 2007, NOAA Fisheries Service solicited public comments on the scope and issues to consider in such guidance. A report of the comments received was released in July 2007. Click here to view the report. Currently, NOAA Fisheries Service is preparing a proposed rule for the guidance. This proposed rule will be published in 2008 and available to the public for comment.
For more information regarding proposed guidance on ACL and AM, please click here.