Commerce, advised by NOAA Fisheries, must determine whether each FMP is in compliance with the 10 national standards contained in the Magnuson-Stevens Act as amended in 1996 (Box 1.1) prior to implementation.
These standards include the requirement to prevent overfishing and to rebuild overfished stocks. National Standard 2 specifies that “conservation and management shall be based upon the best scientific information available” (Magnuson-Stevens Act, sec. 301). Similar requirements appear in other environmental statutes such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act (Box 1.2).