FIGURE 1.1 Map of the states and territories covered by the eight regional fishery management councils (used with permission from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

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).

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