tural, technological, aesthetic, scientific, spiritual, social, traditional, or other special cultural significance associated with human activity.
individual fishing quota (IFQ): Fishery management tool used in the Alaska halibut and sablefish, wreckfish, and surf clam and ocean quahog fisheries in the United States, and other fisheries throughout the world, that allocates a certain portion of the total allowable catch to individual vessels, fishermen, or other eligible recipients based on initial qualifying criteria.
individual transferable quota (ITQ): Individual fishing quota that can be transferred. ITQs typically entail allocations of a certain amount of an estabfished annual catch to individual fishermen or vessel owners. Once distributed, fishermen can buy or sell their share, or individual quota, to other fishermen or vessel owners.
integrated management: An approach by which the many competing environmental and socioeconomic issues are considered together, with the aim of achieving the optimal solution from the viewpoint of the whole community and the whole ecosystem.
marine protected area (MPA): Geographic area with discrete boundaries that has been designated to enhance the conservation of marine resources. This includes MPA-wide restrictions on some activities such as oil and gas mining and the use of zones such as fishery and ecological reserves to provide higher levels of protection.
marine reserve: A zone in which some or all of the biological resources are protected from removal or disturbance; encompasses both fishery and ecological reserves.
maximum sustainable yield (MSY): Largest average catch that can be harvested on a sustainable basis from a stock under existing environmental conditions. MSY is a deterministic single-species construct that may have difficulty reflecting the stochastic nature of stock dynamics.
metapopulation: A population that consists of a series of physically separate subpopulations linked by dispersal. Metapopulations persist as a result of a balance between extinctions of subpopulations and recolonization of habitat patches (and hence reestablishment of subpopulations).
monitoring system: A system designed to reveal the extent to which the ecological and socioeconomic objectives of an MPA are being met, as a basis for management actions.
multiple-use MPA: An approach, often employed over much larger areas, that allows for integrated management of complete marine ecosystems, usually through a zoning process.
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS): Federal agency within NOAA responsible for overseeing fisheries science and regulation.