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If an ACL was exceeded, AMs should be triggered and implemented as soon as possible to correct the operational issue that caused the ACL overage, as well as any biological consequences to the stock or stock complex resulting from the overage when it is known. Managers must be knowledgeable about the potential yield that is foregone when the probability of overfishing is decreased and about the conservation implications if overfishing occurs keeping in mind that overfishing is not necessarily unsustainable. T min —minimum time for rebuilding a stock. NMFS believes that the alternative result, which is that data are available inseason that show an ACL is being exceeded, but no management action is taken to prevent overfishing, would not meet the intent of the MSA.

Annual Catch Limit Trends | Measuring the Effects of Catch Shares

The Act provides for ten national standards (NS) for requirements for annual catch limits (ACLs). NMFS proposes revisions to the guidelines for National Standard 1 (NS1) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of established new requirements to end and prevent overfishing through the use of annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures National Standard 1 Technical Guidance for Designing, Evaluating, and. SUMMARY: NMFS extends the public comment period on the proposed rule to revise National Standard 1 (NS1) guidelines, including guidance on how to. The Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions is necessary to help compliance the requirements of the MSA to end and prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, and achieve maximum yield Act was established to end and prevent overfishing though the use of annual catch limits and accountability measurements.

Magnuson stevens act provisions annual catch limits national standard guidelines. Enhanced Content - Table of Contents.

(2) Overview of Magnuson-Stevens Act concepts and provisions related to NS1—​(i) MSY. See the National Standard 2 guidelines for further guidance on SSCs and the (D) Overfishing limit (OFL) means the annual amount of catch that. (2) Overview of Magnuson-Stevens Act concepts and provisions related to NS1 - See the National Standard 2 guidelines for further guidance on SSCs and the peer review (D) Overfishing limit (OFL) means the annual amount of catch that​. National Standard 1. Guidelines Management Council must include Annual Catch Limits by the primarily when referring to requirements of the Magnuson-​Stevens Act, the logical provisions of this Act-- (6) develop annual catch limits for. Skip to main content. Menu. Logo: govinfo Search. Browse. A to Z · Category · Date · Committee · Author. About. About · Policies · Authentication · Digital. Magnuson-Stevens ACT Provisions - Annual Catch Limits - National Standard Guidelines (Us National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Regulation).

Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; National Standard Guidelines - Wikipedia

National Standards Guidelines 1–10 ments of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, (i) A maximum fishing mortality thresh- preclude use of annual target harvest. The Law Library presents the complete text of the Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions - Annual Catch Limits - National Standard Guidelines (US National Oceanic.Magnuson stevens act provisions annual catch limits national standard guidelines of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Magnuson-​Stevens Act Provisions;. Annual Catch Limits; National Standard Guidelines,” 74​. Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions - Annual Catch Limits - National Standard Guidelines (US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Regulation). with the national standards, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, in control rules, and adaptive management using annual catch limits (ACL) and. Magnuson-Stevens by the Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA) of , Pub. national standards with which the FMPs had to conform, and five that portion of such optimum yield that will be harvested by fishing vessels of the United States.” The size limit provisions in the OY definition for the Joint Spiny Lobster FMP were. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and. Management Reauthorization Act of (MSRA) added new requirements for annual catch limits (ACLs).

Magnuson stevens act provisions annual catch limits national standard guidelines.

Technical Memoranda Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) included additional requirements to prevent The National Standard Guidelines allow a council to divide an ACL for a stock Provisions of the Shorebased IFQ Program, including the accountability Annual Catch Limits for Species allocated in the Shorebased IFQ Program, - National Standard 1 (NS1) mandates that “Conservation and The Magnuson-​Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management amended the MSA to include new requirements for annual catch limits (ACLs) and The NS1 Guidelines also have other provisions related to classifying stocks in the FMP.

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) is the The SFA added three new National Standards to address fishing vessel safety, to establishment of annual catch limits, function of the Scientific and Statistical Act (NEPA) review process, rebuilding provisions, limited access privilege. define the meaning and scope of new provisions of the Reauthorization. Act Few would [Reauthorization Act mandated] annual catch limits in place this year for all domestic fish with [ten] national standards for fishery conservation and.   Magnuson stevens act provisions annual catch limits national standard guidelines Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions, National Standard Guidelines, 63 Fed. Reg. It requires accountability measures if the fishery exceeds its annual catch limit. S. (th) – Modernizing Recreational Fishing Management Act of (as Magnuson-Stevens Act. The law's science-based conservation requirements be found in the Guidelines for National Standard 1 published by the National fishery management council to establish annual catch limits for a multispecies. Xperia501so70rom Annual Catch Limit and National Standard 1 Q&A's. Question and MSA ​ Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. MSY. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) is the standards” (National Standards) set out in the MSA as follows: (1) prevent management objectives, and provisions to be included in each Councils‟ FMPs. Administration, NOAA Issues Final Guidance on Annual Catch Limits to End.

Magnuson stevens act provisions annual catch limits national standard guidelines

This proposed rule would establish annual catch limits (ACLs) of 30, guidelines for National Standard 1 of the Magnuson Stevens Act. Catch other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws. ards, other provisions of the Magnuson-. Stevens Act, and (3) The national standards are statu- tory principles that must ments of the Magnuson-Stevens Act,. VerDate ment using annual catch limits (ACL) and measures.  Magnuson stevens act provisions annual catch limits national standard guidelines Hawaiian Monk Seal, Magnuson - Stevens Act Provisions: Annual Catch Limits ; National Standard Guidelines, Fisheries off West Coast States. and Management Act (“Magnuson-Stevens Act”) requires the Fisheries Act, including provisions of that Act that require implementation of The National Standard 1 Guidelines define “annual catch limit” as “a limit on the.

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Magnuson stevens act provisions annual catch limits national standard guidelines.

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Magnuson stevens act provisions annual catch limits national standard guidelines

In addition to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, issues related to the National Standard guidelines were discussed at other public forums including:. Proposed rule. Red-line document showing the proposed changes PDF, 25 pages. Presentation PDF, 30 pages. Request for comments , February Summary of comments , July PDF, 53 pages. This report summarizes the comments that NOAA Fisheries received between February 14 and April 17, , on the scope and issues to consider in developing National Standard 1 guidance.

Appendix G1 PDF, 74 pages. Proposed rule to revise the National Standard 1 guidelines , June Final rule to revise the National Standard 1 guidelines , January AMs should be designed so that if an ACL is exceeded, specific adjustments are effective in the next fishing year, or as soon as possible, with explanation of why more timely adjustment is not possible.

If timely inseason fishery catch data are available for a stock, Councils should ensure their FMPs contain inseason closure authority as an AM to prevent a stock's ACL from being exceeded. Where fishery catch data are not timely enough to implement inseason AMs, the ACT should be adjusted downward from the ACL to account for the increased management uncertainty and the delayed ability to implement AMs.

Some fisheries have highly variable annual catches and lack reliable inseason or annual data on which to base AMs. The initial ACL and management measures should incorporate information from previous years so that AMs based on average ACLs can be applied from the first year.

If a stock is in a rebuilding plan and its ACL is exceeded, the AMs should include overage adjustments that reduce the ACL in the next fishing year by the full amount of the overage, unless the best scientific information available shows that a reduced overage adjustment is sufficent, or no adjustment is needed to mitigate the effects of the overage. This AM is important to increase the likelihood that the stock will continue to rebuild.

As discussed earlier, stocks and stock complexes in federal FMPs that have a large majority of harvest in state or territorial waters should have an ACL that takes into consideration the overall status of the stock. However, federal management would be limited to that portion of the fishery under federal jurisdiction. Options for AMs that a Council could consider for stocks or stock complexes caught mostly in state or territorial waters would include, but are not limited to: 1 Close the EEZ when the federal portion of the ACL is reached, or 2 close the EEZ when the overall stock or stock complex's ACL is reached.

The AMs should ensure that federal managers are doing as much as possible to end and prevent overfishing. Some items are specific to new MSRA provisions. Others were required prior to MSRA, but are included here so as to be comprehensive. An overall objective of management of federal fisheries under the MSA is to conserve fishery resources so as to prevent overfishing and achieve OY see sections 2 a 6 and 2 b 4 of the MSA. FMPs should contain a description of fisheries data for the stocks, stock complexes, and ecosystem component species.

The sources of fishing mortality, such as commercial catch both landed and discarded , recreational catch, and bycatch in other fisheries should be listed in the FMP for each fishery, along with a description of the data collection and estimation methods used to quantify total catch mortality in each fishery.

The description of the data collection methods used to monitor the fishery should include information on the frequency that those data are collected and updated and the scope of sampling coverage for the fishery.

In addition, the FMP should describe how those data are used to determine the relationship between total catch at a given point in time and the ACL for a stock or stock complex. FMPs should explain issues related to shared jurisdiction of stocks if any , and the degree to which ACLs and AMs established by the Councils will ensure that overfishing does not occur on the stock as a whole.

However, given the longstanding use of terms under certain FMPs, if changing terminology could cause confusion, Councils could opt to retain existing terminology and explain in a proposed rule how the terminology and approaches in the FMPs are consistent with those set forth in the NS1 guidelines. All stocks and stock complexes should have an annual or multiyear specification process for stocks managed in a fishery. An annual or multiyear specification process for setting or adjusting ACLs provides a timely, consistent method that the public and stakeholders can understand, and that provides an opportunity for public comment.

The MSA provides that the Secretary shall annually identify stocks and stock complexes that are overfished or approaching a condition of being overfished; notify the appropriate Council at any time when a stock or stock complex is determined to be overfished; and notify the appropriate Council when adequate progress is not being made under existing FMPs, FMP amendments, or regulations see MSA sections e 1 , 2 , and 7.

MSRA did not change these identification and notification provisions but revised the timing of Council actions. To facilitate timely implementation of actions under revised section e 3 , the Councils should submit an FMP, an FMP amendment, or proposed regulations within 15 months of an identification or notification under this section.

While MSA section e 3 provides for two years for a Council to prepare and implement an FMP, FMP amendment, or proposed regulations, as discussed earlier, MSA section a 15 has a separate requirement for FMPs and ACLs that is effective in fishing year for fisheries determined to be subject to overfishing and in fishing year for all other fisheries. Thus, as of and beyond, for a stock and stock complex determined to be overfished and experiencing overfishing, a Council needs to take measures consistent with MSA section a 15 that address overfishing while the rebuilding plan is under development.

T target shall not exceed the maximum time allowable for rebuilding T max and should generally be less than T max. Many rebuilding plans for overfished stocks under section e of the MSA were initiated in , or later, and some of those plans are reaching the end of their rebuilding periods such that a stock is no longer overfished, but not rebuilt.

NMFS does not have explicit guidance in the NS1 guidelines to describe what a Council should do under such circumstances. If the rebuilding plan was based on a T target that was less than T max , and the stock is not rebuilt by T target , rebuilding measures should be revised if necessary, such that the stock will be rebuilt by T max.

If the stock has not rebuilt by T max , and the rebuilding F is greater than 75 percent of MFMT, then the rebuilding F should be reduced to no more than 75 percent of MFMT until the stock has been demonstrated to be rebuilt. The purposes of these changes are to improve some portions of the MSY related definitions and to further clarify how MSY is estimated. The purpose of this change is to acknowledge that MSY also depends upon gear selectivity age at entry and the catch performance of the fishery, which can depend on the relative proportion of catch between different fleets with differing fishing characteristics.

The definition of MSY stock size would be changed in two places. The revisions to the social factors describe fishery-related indicators and non-fishery related indicators that should be considered when OY needs to be reduced for a stock or stock complex. While NMFS has carefully considered all comments received, it will not be able to include all proposed NS1 revisions in this action. These proposed revisions to the NS1 guidelines will address primarily the need to have ACL and AM mechanisms and ACLs and AMs in place such that ACLs end overfishing in , for stocks undergoing overfishing, and prevent overfishing for all other stocks beginning in NMFS intends to withdraw most of the proposed revisions to the NS1 guidelines that were published in in a separate withdrawal of a proposed rule action.

A few of the topics from the rule are considered in this action, such as: 1 Establishing the length of time for a rebuilding plan; 2 action to take when a stock is not determined to be rebuilt at the end of its rebuilding plan; and 3 the definition of several components of MSY.

Other proposed revisions considered in the proposed NS1 guidelines and suggested during the comment period for this action will be considered by NMFS for possible inclusion in subsequent revisions to the NS1 guidelines. Current paragraph d 1 — Definitions, is revised and redesignated paragraph e 2 i.

Current paragraph d 2 — Specification of status determination criteria, is revised and redesignated paragraph e 2 ii. Current paragraph e — Ending overfishing and rebuilding overfished stocks, is revised and redesignated paragraph j — Council actions to address overfishing and rebuilding for stocks and stock complexes in the fishery.

Current paragraph f — OY is redesignated paragraph e 3. Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

This proposed rule has been determined to be significant for purposes of Executive Order NOAA invites the public to comment on this proposal, the supporting analysis, and its underlying interpretation of the analytical requirements of the MSRA.

The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that these proposed revisions to the NS1 guidelines, if adopted, would not have any significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, as follows:. I certify that the attached proposed action issued under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act MSA will not have any significant economic impacts on a substantial number of small entities, as defined under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

The proposed revisions to the NS1 guidelines provide guidance on how to address new overfishing and rebuilding and related requirements under MSA sections a 15 , e , and other sections. Pursuant to section b of the Act, the NS guidelines do not have the force and effect of law. ACL and AM requirements under section a 15 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act are effective in fishing year , for stocks undergoing overfishing and in fishing year , for all other fisheries.

NMFS believes that revisions to the NS1 guidelines will assist the Councils and the Secretary in addressing new MSA requirements, ensure greater consistency in approaches to ending overfishing and rebuilding stocks, increase efficiency in reviewing actions and tracking annual management performance, and improve communication between NMFS and the Councils.

Because the NS1 guidelines are general guidance and there is considerable diversity in the different federally-managed fisheries, potential economic impacts of the guidelines are highly speculative. NMFS has identified a total of 59, commercial vessel permit holders and 18, headboat and charter boat vessel permits.

A total of 26, recreational permits exist for Atlantic highly migratory species HMS. Operator permits are estimated at 6, and dealer permits were estimated at 7, However, it is important to note that in most cases each vessel possesses permits for several fisheries multiple vessel permits. As such, the total number of vessel permits commercial, headboat and charter boat, and HMS recreational grossly overestimate the actual number of vessels that are operating in these fisheries.

All vessels included in the total vessel permits for each fishery are considered to be small entities for the purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis. As a result, NMFS does not believe that these proposed revisions to the NS1 guidelines would place a substantial number of small entities at a disadvantage as compared to large entities or that it would reduce profit significantly.

The NS1 guidelines would provide general guidance on ending and preventing overfishing and rebuilding fisheries, leaving considerable discretion to the Councils and the Secretary to consider alternative ways to accomplish these goals consistent with the NS, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.

Therefore, an IRFA has not been prepared for this action. These proposed revisions to the NS1 guidelines do not contain any new recordkeeping or reporting requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act.

In the event that new collection-of-information requirements are proposed, a specific analysis regarding the public's reporting burden would accompany such action. NMFS is not aware of any other relevant federal rules that may duplicate, overlap or conflict with the proposed rule.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, 50 CFR part is proposed to be amended as follows:. The authority citation for part continues to read as follows:. Authority: 16 U.

Conservation and management measures shall prevent overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield OY from each fishery for the U. The Magnuson-Stevens Act establishes MSY as the basis for fishery management and requires that: The fishing mortality rate does not jeopardize the capacity of a stock or stock complex to produce MSY; the abundance of an overfished stock or stock complex be rebuilt to a level that is capable of producing MSY; and OY not exceed MSY.

The determination of OY is a decisional mechanism for resolving the Magnuson-Stevens Act's conservation and management objectives, achieving a fishery management plan's FMP objectives, and balancing the various interests that comprise the greatest overall benefits to the Nation. OY is based on MSY as reduced under paragraphs e 3 iii and iv of this section. The most important limitation on the specification of OY is that the choice of OY and the conservation and management measures proposed to achieve it must prevent overfishing.

Any FMP which is prepared by any Council shall establish a mechanism for specifying ACLs in the FMP including a multiyear plan , implementing regulations, or annual specifications, at a level such that overfishing does not occur in the fishery, including measures to ensure accountability Magnuson-Stevens Act section a Subject to certain exceptions and circumstances described in paragraph h of this section, this requirement takes effect in fishing year , for fisheries determined subject to overfishing, and in fishing year for all other fisheries Magnuson-Stevens Act section note.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act has requirements regarding scientific and statistical committees SSC of the Regional Fishery Management Councils, including but not limited to, the following provisions:. C The Secretary and each Regional Fishery Management Council may establish a peer review process for that Regional Fishery Management Council for scientific information used to advise the Regional Fishery Management Council about the conservation and management of the fishery see Magnuson-Stevens Act section g 1 E.

If a peer review process is established, it should investigate the technical merits of stock assessments and other scientific information used by the SSC. In general, when specifying limits and targets intended to avoid overfishing and achieve sustainable fisheries, Councils should take an approach that considers uncertainty in scientific information and management control of the fishery.

These guidelines identify limit and target reference points which should be set lower as uncertainty increases such that there is a low risk that limits are exceeded as described in paragraphs f 4 and f 6 of this section. Magnuson-Stevens Act section a 2 requires that an FMP contain, among other things, a description of the species of fish involved in the fishery.

FMPs include target stocks and may also include non-target species or stocks. Stocks in a fishery include: Target stocks; non-target stocks that are retained for sale or personal use; and non-target stocks that are not retained for sale or personal use and that are either determined to be subject to overfishing, approaching overfished, or overfished, or could become so, according to the best available information, without conservation and management measures.

Stocks in a fishery may be grouped into stock complexes, as appropriate. Requirements for reference points and management measures for these stocks are described throughout these guidelines. They may or may not be retained for sale or personal use. Non-target species may be included in a fishery and, if so, they should be identified at the stock level. EC species may be identified at the species or stock level, and may be grouped into complexes.

EC species do not require specification of reference points but should be monitored on a regular basis, to the extent practicable, to determine changes in their status or their vulnerability to the fishery.

A Council should monitor the catch resulting from a fishery on a regular basis to determine if the stocks and species are appropriately classified in the FMP. If the criteria previously used to classify a stock or species is no longer valid, the Council should reclassify it through an FMP amendment, which documents rationale for the decision.

If a stock is identified in more than one fishery, Councils should choose which FMP will be the primary FMP in which management objectives, SDC, and other reference points for the stock are established. In most cases, the primary Start Printed Page FMP for a stock will be the one in which the stock is identified as a target stock.

Stocks may be grouped into complexes for various reasons, including where stocks in a multispecies fishery cannot be targeted independent of one another; where there is insufficient data to measure their status relative to SDC; or when it is not feasible for fishermen to distinguish individual stocks among their catch.

The vulnerability of stocks to the fishery should be evaluated when determining if a particular stock complex should be established or reorganized, or if a particular stock should be included in a complex. Stock complexes may be comprised of: One or more indicator stocks, each of which has SDC and ACLs, and several other stocks; several stocks without an indicator stock, with SDC and an ACL for the complex as a whole; or one of more indicator stocks, each of which has SDC and management objectives, with an ACL for the complex as a whole this situation might be applicable to some salmon species.

An indicator stock is a stock that is used to help manage and evaluate stocks that are in a stock complex and do not have their own SDC. If an indicator stock is used to evaluate the status of a complex, it should be representative of the typical status of each stock within the complex, due to similarity in vulnerability.

If the stocks within a stock complex have a wide range of vulnerability, they should be reorganized into different stock complexes that have similar vulnerabilities; otherwise the indicator stock should be chosen to represent the more vulnerable stocks within the complex. In instances where an indicator stock is less vulnerable than other members of the complex, management measures need to be more conservative so that the more vulnerable members of the complex are not at risk from the fishery.

More than one indicator stock can be selected to provide more information about the status of the complex. Although the indicator stock s are used to evaluate the status of the complex, individual stocks within complexes should be examined periodically using available quantitative or qualitative information to evaluate whether a stock has become overfished or may be subject to overfishing. Each FMP should include an estimate of MSY for the stocks and stock complexes in the fishery, as described in paragraph d 2 of this section.

A MSY is the largest long-term average catch or yield that can be taken from a stock or stock complex under prevailing ecological, environmental conditions and fishery technological characteristics e. C MSY stock size B msy means the long-term average size of the stock or stock complex, measured in terms of spawning biomass or other appropriate measure of the stock's reproductive potential that would be achieved by fishing at F msy.

MSY should be estimated on a stock-by-stock basis whenever possible. However, where MSY cannot be estimated for each stock in a stock complex, then MSY may be estimated for one or more indicator stocks for the complex or for the complex as a whole. When indicator stocks are not used, MSY or a suitable proxy should be calculated for the stock complex as a whole.

When data are insufficient to estimate MSY directly, Councils should adopt other measures of reproductive potential, based on the best scientific information available, that can serve as reasonable proxies for MSY, F msy , and B msy , to the extent possible.

B Overfishing to overfish occurs whenever a stock or stock complex is subjected to a level of fishing mortality or annual total catch that jeopardizes the capacity of a stock or stock complex to produce MSY on a continuing basis.

C Maximum fishing mortality threshold MFMT means the level of fishing mortality F , on an annual basis, above which overfishing is occurring. D Overfishing limit OFL means the annual amount of catch that corresponds to the estimate of MFMT applied to a stock or stock complex's abundance and is expressed in terms of numbers or weight of fish. MSY is the long-term average of such catches. E Overfished. F Minimum stock size threshold MSST means the level of biomass below which the stock or stock complex is considered to be overfished.

G Approaching an overfished condition. A stock or stock complex is approaching an overfished condition when it is projected that there is more than a 50 percent chance that the biomass of the stock or stock complex will decline below the MSST within two years. SDC must be expressed in a way that enables the Council to monitor each stock or stock complex in the FMP and determine annually, if possible, whether overfishing is occurring and whether the stock or stock complex is overfished.

A SDC to determine overfishing status. Each FMP should describe which of the following two methods will be used for each stock or stock complex to determine an overfishing status. Exceeding the MFMT for a period of 1 year or more constitutes overfishing. The MFMT or reasonable proxy may be expressed either as a single number a fishing mortality rate or F value , or as a function of spawning biomass or other measure of reproductive potential.

Should the annual catch exceed the annual OFL for 1 year or more, the stock or stock complex is considered subject to overfishing.

B SDC to determine overfished status. The MSST or reasonable proxy should be expressed in terms of spawning biomass or other measure of reproductive potential. To the extent possible, the MSST should equal whichever of the following is greater: One-half the MSY stock size, or the minimum stock size at which rebuilding to the MSY level would be expected to occur within 10 years if the stock or stock complex were exploited at the MFMT specified under paragraph e 2 ii A 1 of this section.

Should the estimated size of the stock or stock complex in a given year fall below this threshold, the stock or stock complex is considered overfished. Some short-term environmental changes can alter the size of a stock or stock complex without affecting its long-term reproductive potential.

Long-term environmental changes affect both the short-term size of the stock or stock complex and the long-term reproductive potential of the stock or stock complex.

A If environmental changes cause a stock or stock complex to fall below its MSST without affecting its long-term reproductive potential, fishing mortality must be constrained sufficiently to allow rebuilding within an acceptable time frame also see paragraph j 3 ii of this section.

SDC should not be respecified. B If environmental changes affect the long-term reproductive potential of the stock or stock complex, one or more components of the SDC must be respecified. Once SDC have been respecified, fishing mortality may or may not have to be reduced, depending on the status of the stock or stock complex with respect to the new criteria.

C If manmade environmental changes are partially responsible for a stock or stock complex being in an overfished condition, in addition to controlling fishing mortality, Councils should recommend restoration of habitat and other ameliorative programs, to the extent possible see also the guidelines issued pursuant to section b of the Magnuson-Stevens Act for Council actions concerning essential fish habitat.

Secretarial approval or disapproval of proposed SDC will be based on consideration of whether the proposal:. B Contains the elements described in paragraph e 2 ii of this section;.

C Provides a basis for objective measurement of the status of the stock or stock complex against the criteria; and. OY may be established at the stock or stock complex level, or at the fishery level. OY is a long-term average amount of desired yield from a stock, stock complex, or fishery.

The long-term objective is to achieve OY through annual achievement of ACT, which is described in paragraph f of this section. An FMP must contain conservation and management measures to achieve OY, and provisions for information collection that are designed to determine the degree to which OY is achieved on a continuing basis—that is, to result in a long-term average catch equal to the long-term average OY, through an effective system of ACLs, ACTs, and AMs.

These measures should allow for practical and effective implementation and enforcement of the management regime. The Secretary has an obligation to implement and enforce the FMP. If management measures prove unenforceable—or too restrictive, or not rigorous enough to prevent overfishing while achieving OY—they should be modified; an alternative is to reexamine the adequacy of the OY specification.

Exceeding OY does not necessarily constitute overfishing. However, even if no overfishing resulted from exceeding OY, continual harvest at a level above OY would violate NS1, because OY was not achieved on a continuing basis. An FMP must contain an assessment and specification of OY, including a summary of information utilized in making such specification, consistent with requirements of section a 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

A Council must identify those economic, social, and ecological factors relevant to management of a particular stock, stock complex, or fishery, then evaluate them to determine the OY. The choice of a particular OY must be carefully documented to show that the OY selected will produce the greatest benefit to the Nation and prevent overfishing. In determining the greatest benefit to the Nation, the values that should be weighed and receive serious attention when considering the economic, social, or ecological factors used in reducing MSY to obtain OY are:.

A The benefits of food production are derived from providing seafood to consumers; maintaining an economically viable fishery together with its attendant contributions to the national, regional, and local economies; and utilizing the capacity of the Nation's fishery resources to meet nutritional needs. B The benefits of recreational opportunities reflect the quality of both the recreational fishing experience and non-consumptive fishery uses such as ecotourism, fish watching, and recreational diving.

Benefits also include the contribution of recreational fishing to the national, regional, and local economies and food supplies.

C The benefits of protection afforded to marine ecosystems are those resulting Start Printed Page from maintaining viable populations including those of unexploited species , maintaining adequate forage for all components of the ecosystem, maintaining evolutionary and ecological processes e.

Because fisheries have limited capacities, any attempt to maximize the measures of benefits described in paragraph e 3 iii of this section will inevitably encounter practical constraints. OY cannot exceed MSY in any circumstance and must take into account the need to prevent overfishing and rebuild overfished stocks and stock complexes.

OY can be reduced to a value less than MSY based on social, economic, and ecological factors. To the extent possible, the relevant social, economic, and ecological factors used to establish OY for a stock, stock complex, or fishery should be quantified and reviewed in historical, short-term, and long-term contexts. Even where quantification of these factors is not possible, the FMP still must address these factors in its OY specification.

A Social factors. Examples are enjoyment gained from recreational fishing, avoidance of gear conflicts and resulting disputes, preservation of a way of life for fishermen and their families, and dependence of local communities on a fishery e. Consideration may be given to fishery-related indicators e. Other factors that may be considered include the effects that past harvest levels have had on fishing communities, the cultural place of subsistence fishing, obligations under Indian treaties, proportions of affected minority and low-income groups, and worldwide nutritional needs.

A suite of accountability measures applies to all sectors of the groundfish fleet, including in-season catch monitoring and adjustments to keep within specified harvest guidelines. Other accountability measures used in the overall management framework to respond to sector-specific ACLs for overfished species include automatic closure of sectors, depth restrictions, and changes in season length.

In addition to all the existing measures in the management framework, the following specific accountability measures apply to the Shorebased IFQ program:. However, the surplus carryover provisions can only be implemented when the groundfish fishery ACL has been set below the ABC. Surplus QP may not be carried over for more than one year. Brinson, A. The Economic Performance of U. Catch Share Programs. National Marine Fisheries Service. National Standards Guidelines.

Pacific Fishery Management Council. All Rights Reserved. In Their Own Words Although some of the quantitative data analyzed for this indicator exhibited clear trends, it was challenging to discuss the relationships between observed data trends and implementation of the respective catch share programs. Accountability Measures A suite of accountability measures applies to all sectors of the groundfish fleet, including in-season catch monitoring and adjustments to keep within specified harvest guidelines.

  Productspecificaties

Well, this fish weighed 4 lbs. Boom, I was over. And then you double the Dover ACL. Canary rockfish is another very constraining species, extremely so. Canary has become a very big bargaining chip late in the season. It never does. You have so many constraints, and you got the costs so high.

But for those of us fishing, it just chips away at the profit. A suite of accountability measures applies to all sectors of the groundfish fleet, including in-season catch monitoring and adjustments to keep within specified harvest guidelines.

Other accountability measures used in the overall management framework to respond to sector-specific ACLs for overfished species include automatic closure of sectors, depth restrictions, and changes in season length. In addition to all the existing measures in the management framework, the following specific accountability measures apply to the Shorebased IFQ program:.

However, the surplus carryover provisions can only be implemented when the groundfish fishery ACL has been set below the ABC. Surplus QP may not be carried over for more than one year. Brinson, A. The Economic Performance of U. Catch Share Programs. National Marine Fisheries Service. National Standards Guidelines. Pacific Fishery Management Council. All Rights Reserved. In Their Own Words Although some of the quantitative data analyzed for this indicator exhibited clear trends, it was challenging to discuss the relationships between observed data trends and implementation of the respective catch share programs.

Accountability Measures A suite of accountability measures applies to all sectors of the groundfish fleet, including in-season catch monitoring and adjustments to keep within specified harvest guidelines. The MSA serves as the chief authority for fisheries management in the U. The Act provides for ten national standards NS for fishery conservation and management, and requires that the Secretary establish advisory guidelines based on the NS to assist in the development of fishery management plans.

Further background is provided in the above-referenced Federal Register documents and is not repeated here. The proposed guidelines provided a description of the reasons that overfishing is still occurring and the categories of reasons for overfishing likely to be addressed by new MSA requirements combined with the NS1 guidelines.

Fisheries indicates that 41 stocks managed under Federal FMPs are undergoing overfishing. NMFS solicited public comment on the proposed NS1 guidelines revisions through September 22, , and during that time, held three public meetings, on July 10, Silver Spring, Maryland , July 14, Tampa, Florida , and July 24, Seattle, Washington , and made presentations on the proposed revisions to each of the eight Regional Fishery Management Councils Councils.

Many of the comment letters were form letters or variations on a form letter. In general, the environmental community supported the provisions in the proposed action but commented that they needed to be strengthened in the final action. Alternatively, comments from the fishing industry and some of the Councils said the proposed revisions were confusing, too proscriptive or strict, and lacked sufficient flexibility. The main substantive change in the final action pertains to ACTs.

Public comments reflected confusion about this proposal, so NMFS has clarified its general intent with regard to these classifications. More detailed responses to comments on this issue are provided later in this document.

In some FMPs, Councils have taken a broader approach and included hundreds of species, many of which may or may not require conservation and management but could be relevant in trying to further ecosystem management in the fishery. NMFS wants to encourage ecosystem approaches to management, thus it proposed the EC species as a possible classification a Council or the Secretary could—but is not required to—consider.

The decision of whether conservation and management is needed for a fishery and how that fishery should be defined remains within the authority and discretion of the relevant Council or the Secretary, as appropriate. NMFS recognizes the confusion caused by wording in the proposed action and has revised the final action to be more clear on these points.

Another major aspect of the revised NS1 guidelines is the inclusion of guidance on AMs. As a performance standard, if catch exceeds the ACL for a given stock or stock complex more than once in the last four years, the system of ACLs and AMs should be re-evaluated, and modified if necessary, to improve its performance and effectiveness.

Start Printed Page NMFS believes that this may have caused confusion and that some commenters misunderstood the intent of this recommendation. A major aspect of the revised NS1 guidelines is the concept of incorporating management and scientific uncertainty in using ACLs and AMs.

Management uncertainty occurs because of the lack of sufficient information about catch e. Recreational fisheries generally have late reporting because of the method of surveying catches and the lack of an ability for managers to interview only marine recreational anglers. NMFS is addressing management uncertainty in the recreational fishery by implementing a national registry of recreational fishers in the Exclusive Economic Zone EEZ see proposed rule published in the Federal Register 73 FR , June 12, and a Marine Recreational Implementation Program that will, in part, revise the sampling design of NMFS's marine recreational survey for fishing activity.

Management uncertainty also exists because of the lack of management precision in many fisheries due to lack of inseason fisheries landings data, lack of inseason closure authority, or the lack of sufficient inseason management in some FMPs when inseason fisheries data are available. The final NS1 guidelines revisions provide that FMPs should contain inseason closure authority that gives NMFS the ability to close fisheries if it determines, based on data that it deems sufficiently reliable, that an ACL has been exceeded or is projected to be reached, and that closure of a fishery is necessary to prevent overfishing.

NMFS believes that such closure authority will enhance efforts to prevent overfishing. Councils can derive some idea of their overall extent of management uncertainty by comparing past actual catches to target catches to evaluate the magnitude and frequency of differences between actual catch and target catch, and how often actual catch exceeded the overfishing limit for a stock.

Scientific uncertainty includes uncertainty around the estimate of a stock's biomass and its maximum fishing mortality threshold MFMT ; therefore, any estimate of OFL has uncertainty.

Stock assessment models have various sources of scientific uncertainty associated with them and many assessments have shown a repeating pattern that the previous assessment overestimated near-future biomass, and underestimated near-future fishing mortality rates i. Some commenters felt additional emphasis should be placed on T min in the rebuilding provisions.

Councils, for the most part, are very concerned about the challenge of implementing ACLs and AMs by , and , as required. Some commenters felt the international fisheries exception to ACLs is too broad.

Several commenters stated that an EIS should have been or should be prepared and two commenters stated an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act should be prepared. NMFS also received many comments regarding the mixed-stock exception. Comment 1: Several comments were received regarding NMFS's decision to not prepare an environmental impact statement or environmental assessment for this action.

Some supported the decision, while others opposed it and believed that a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act NEPA is not appropriate.

Response: NMFS believes a categorical exclusion is appropriate for this action. In this instance, a Categorical Exclusion is appropriate for this action, because NMFS cannot meaningfully analyze potential environmental, economic, and social impacts at this stage. See Tutein v. Daley , 43 F. The NS1 guidelines are intended to provide broad guidance on how to comply with new statutory requirements. It is not clear what Councils will or will not do in response to the NS1 guidelines.

Thus, it is not possible to predict any concrete impacts on the human environment without the necessary intervening actions of the Councils, e.

Any analysis of potential impacts would be speculative at best. While there is controversy concerning the NS1 guidelines revisions, the controversy is primarily related to different views on how new MSA requirements should be interpreted, rather than potential environmental consequences. The NS1 guidelines would not, in themselves, have uncertain environmental impacts, unique or unknown risks, or cumulatively significant or adverse effects upon endangered or threatened species or their habitats.

Moreover, this action would not establish a precedent or decision in principle about future proposals. As noted above, the guidelines provide broad guidance on how to address statutory requirements but do not mandate specific management actions. Response: No change was made. One of the Councils' roles is to develop conservation and management measures that are necessary and appropriate for management of fisheries under their authority.

NMFS believes that Councils should continue to have the discretion to determine what measures may be needed in each fishery and what alternatives should be considered and analyzed as part of the fishery management planning process. Councils routinely incorporate NEPA into this process, and the actions to implement ACLs in specific fisheries must address the NEPA requirements, regardless of the level of analysis conducted for the guidelines. Therefore, having reviewed the issue again, NMFS continues to find that a categorical exclusion is appropriate for this action.

They said it was not appropriate to certify under the RFA because in their opinion, this action will have significant economic impacts on a substantial number of small entities. The final NS1 guidelines will not have significant economic impacts on a substantial number of small entities.

The guidelines are advisory only; they provide general guidance on how to address new overfishing, rebuilding, and related requirements under the MSA. Pursuant to MSA section b , the guidelines do not have the force and effect of law. At this point, any analysis of impacts on small entities across the range of diverse, Federally-managed fisheries would be highly conjectural.

Therefore, a certification is appropriate. Comment 4: Several comments were received that the guidelines are too complex and they contain guidance for things, such as the ACT that are not required by the MSA. They suggested removing these provisions from the guidance, or only providing guidance for terms specifically mentioned in the statute. Response: NMFS agrees that the guidelines can appear complex.

However, the purpose of the guidelines is not simply to regurgitate statutory provisions, rather it is to provide guidance on how to meet the requirements of the statute. In considering how to understand new provisions in light of existing ones, NMFS considered different ways to interpret language in the MSA, practical challenges in fisheries management including scientific and management uncertainty, the fact that there are differences in how fisheries operate, and public comment on proposed approaches in the NS1 guidelines.

In the case of NS1, conservation and management measures must prevent overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield. This is inherently challenging because preventing overfishing requires that harvest of fish be limited, while achieving OY requires that harvest of fish occur.

In developing the guidelines, NMFS identified the reasons that overfishing was still occurring in about 20 percent of U. Fisheries, and wrote the guidelines to address the primary causes.

These include:. NMFS believes that the guidelines address these causes and appropriately provide practical guidance on how to address them, while providing sufficient flexibility to acknowledge the differences in fisheries. Simply amending the FMPs to include ACL provisions is not enough—the actual performance of the fishery is what ultimately matters.

NMFS believes that all of the provisions in the guidelines are essential to achieving that goal, and that if the guidelines are followed, most of the problems that have led to continued overfishing will be addressed. NMFS has made changes in the final action to clarify the guidelines and simplify the provisions therein, to the extent possible.

One specific change is that the final guidelines do not require that ACT always be established. More details on these revisions are covered in responses pertaining to comments 8, 32, 44, 45, and Comment 5: Several commenters stated that Councils' workloads and the delay of final NS1 guidelines will result in some Councils having great difficulty or not being able to develop ACLs and AMs for overfishing stocks by , and all other stocks by Response: The requirements in MSA related to and are statutory; therefore ACLs and AMs need to be in place for those fishing years such that overfishing does not occur.

NMFS understands that initial ACL measures for some fisheries have been developed before the NS1 guidelines were finalized in order to meet the statutory deadline, and thus may not be fully consistent with the guidelines. ACL mechanisms developed before the final guidelines should be reviewed and eventually revised consistent with the guidelines.

One commenter stated that NMFS should bear the burden of determining whether current processes are inconsistent with the MSA, and indicate what action Councils should take. NMFS also received comments stating that certain terms have had longstanding use under FMPs, and changing the terminology could cause too much confusion. In general, these are fisheries where catch limits are established and the fishery is managed so that the limits are not exceeded, and where overfishing is not occurring.

However, there are a wide variety of fisheries that use the term TAC, and while some treat it as a true limit, others treat it simply as a target value on which to base management measures. In addition, upon request of a Council, NMFS can provide input regarding any changes to current processes that might be needed for consistency with the MSA and guidance in the NS1 guidelines.

Regarding the comment about terminology, the preamble to the proposed action provided that Councils could opt to retain existing terminology and explain in a proposed rule how the terminology and approaches to the FMPs are consistent with those set forth in the NS1 guidelines. NMFS has given this issue further consideration and believes that a proposed rule would not be necessary or appropriate.

Instead, a Council could explain in a Federal Register notice why its terminology and approaches are consistent with the NS1 guidelines. Comment 7: Some commenters thought that before requiring implementation of a new management system, it should first be demonstrated that the current management system is not effective at preventing overfishing or rebuilding stocks that are overfished, and that a new management system would be more effective. Changing a management system that is effective and responsive would not be productive.

Response: While NMFS understands that current conservation and management measures prevent overfishing in some fisheries, the MSA requires a mechanism for specifying ACLs and AMs in all fisheries, including those that are not currently subject to overfishing, unless an exception applies. NMFS believes the guidance provides the tools for Councils to implement ACLs in these fisheries that will continue to prevent overfishing without disrupting successful management approaches.

Comment 8: Some commenters supported the use of ACT to address management uncertainty in the fishery. Response: The proposed guidelines stressed the importance of addressing scientific and management uncertainty in establishing ACL and AM mechanisms. Scientific uncertainty was addressed in the ABC control rule, and management uncertainty was addressed in the ACT control rule.

Use of catch targets associated with catch limits is a well-recognized principle of fishery management. The current NS1 guidelines call for establishment of limits, and targets set sufficiently below the limits so that the limits are not exceeded.

The revised guidelines are based on this same principle, but, to incorporate the statutory requirements for ABC and ACLs, are more explicit than the current guidelines. The NS1 guidelines are supposed to provide advice on how to address MSA requirements, including how to understand terminology in the Act and how to apply that terminology given the practical realities of fisheries management.

This had the advantage of minimizing the number of terms, but would result in the ACL having been a target catch level. NMFS decided, that since Congress called for annual catch limits to be set, that the ACL should be considered a true limit—a level not to be exceeded. ACT was the term adopted for the corresponding target value which the fishery is managed toward so that the ACL is not exceeded. Setting an ACT with consideration of management uncertainty is one way to achieve this, but may not be needed in all cases.

In fisheries where monitoring of catch is good and in-season management measures are effective, managers may be able to prevent ACLs from being exceeded through direct monitoring and regulation of the fishery. Therefore, the final guidelines make ACTs optional, but, to prevent ACLs from being exceeded, Councils must adequately address the management uncertainty in their fisheries using the full range of AMs.

NS1 requires that conservation and management measures prevent overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the OY. Therefore, if OY is set close to MSY, the conservation and management measures in the fishery must have very good control of the amount of catch in order to achieve the OY without overfishing. The amount of fishing mortality that results in overfishing is dictated by the biology of the stock and its environment, and establishes a limit that constrains fisheries management.

However, the specification of OY and the conservation and management measures for the fishery are both set by fishery managers. To achieve the dual requirements of NS1, Councils must specify an OY and establish conservation and management measures for the fishery that can achieve the OY without overfishing.

The closer that OY is set to MSY, the greater degree of control over harvest is necessary in order to meet both objectives. The choice of conservation and management measures for a fishery incorporates social and economic considerations.

However, compared to hard quotas, management with effort controls gives more uncertainty in the actual amount of fish that will be caught. Because of this increased uncertainty, the OY needs to be reduced from MSY so that overfishing does not occur.

Thus the social and economic considerations of the choice of management measures should be considered in setting the OY. In cases where the conservation and management measures for a fishery are not capable of achieving OY without overfishing occurring, overfishing must be ended even if it means the OY is not achieved in the short-term. Overfishing a stock in the short term to achieve OY jeopardizes the capacity of the stock to produce OY in the long term, and thus cannot be sustained.

Preventing overfishing in a fishery on an annual basis is important to ensure that a fishery can continue to achieve OY on a continuing basis.

The specification of OY and the associated conservation and management measures need to be improved so that OY can be achieved without overfishing occurring. In a fishery where the NS1 objectives are fully met, the OY specification will adequately account for the management uncertainty in the associated conservation and management measures.

Overfishing will not occur, and the OY will be achieved. Response: NMFS does not believe any revision of the NS1 guidelines is necessary in response to this comment but will forward the comment to the Council for its consideration. Comment NMFS received comments in support of the flexibility given to councils to manage stocks for which ACLs are not a good fit, such as management of Endangered Species Act listed species, stocks with unusual life history characteristics, and aquaculture operations.

Commenters noted that Pacific salmon should be treated with flexibility under the NS1 guidelines, because they are managed to annual escapement levels that are functionally equivalent to ACLs, and there are accountability, review, and oversight measures in the fishery. Comment Congress did not mandate that all fisheries be managed by hard quotas, and so NMFS should include guidance for the continuation of successful, non-quota management systems, such as that used to successfully manage the Atlantic sea scallop fishery.

Therefore, conservation and management measures must be implemented so that the ACL is not exceeded, and that accountability measures must apply whenever the ACL is exceeded. Congress did not exempt any fisheries from the ACL requirement on the basis that current management was successful.

If the current conservation and management measures are effective in controlling harvest of sea scallops such that the ACL is not regularly exceeded, the ACL would have little effect on the fishery.

If the current management measures are not effective in keeping catch from exceeding the ACL, then consistent with the ACL requirement in the MSA, additional management action should be taken to prevent overfishing. Including the extra information is unlikely to materially improve management.

Further explanation of these classifications is provided below in other comments and responses. The benefit of including this list of items is to provide transparency in how the NS1 guidelines are being met. As a result, some FMPs include one or a few stocks e.

While EC species are not explicitly provided in the MSA, in the MSRA, Congress acknowledged that certain Councils have made significant progress in integrating ecosystem considerations, and also included new provisions to support such efforts e. Thus, the final guidelines do not require Councils or the Secretary to change which species are or are not included in FMPs, nor do the guidelines require FMPs to incorporate the EC species classification.

NMFS has revised the final guidelines to state explicitly that Councils or the Secretary may—but are not required to—use an EC species classification. NMFS recognizes the desire for greater specificity regarding exactly which species could or could not be considered EC species, but does not believe that further detail in the guidelines could clarify things definitively. Determining whether the EC category is appropriate requires a specific look at stocks or stock complexes in light of the general EC species description provided in the NS1 guidelines as well as the broader mandates and requirements of the MSA.

If Councils decide that they want to explore potential use of the EC species classification, NMFS will work closely with them to consider whether such a classification is appropriate.

Comment NMFS received several comments regarding the level of interaction that would be appropriate for the EC classification. Response: NMFS is revising the final guidelines to clarify preliminary factors to be taken into account when considering a species for possible classification as an EC species.

Such factors include that the species should: 1 Be a non-target species or non-target stock; 2 not be determined to be subject to overfishing, approaching overfished, or overfished; 3 not likely to become subject to overfishing or overfished, according to the best available information, in the absence of conservation and management measures; and 4 not generally retained for sale or personal use. The NS1 guidelines provide general factors to be considered, as well as some examples of possible reasons for using the EC category.

However, the decision of whether to use an EC classification requires consideration of the specific fishery and a determination that the EC classification will be consistent with conservation and management requirements of the MSA.

Under the MSA, a Council prepares and submits FMPs for each fishery under its authority that requires conservation and management, and there is considerable latitude in the definition of the fishery under different FMPs. MSA does not compel FMPs to include particular stocks or stock complexes, but authorizes the Councils or the Secretary to make the determination of what the conservation and management needs are and how best to address them.

Taking the broader approaches noted above would interfere with this discretion and also could result in overlapping or duplicative conservation and management regimes in multiple FMPs under different Council jurisdictions. As National Standard 6 requires that conservation and management measures, where practicable, minimize costs and avoid unnecessary duplication, NMFS believes that Councils should retain the discretion to determine which fisheries require specific conservation and management measures.

With regard to bycatch, regardless of whether a species is identified as part of a fishery or not, National Standard 9 requires that FMPs, to the extent practicable, minimize bycatch and to the extent it cannot be avoided minimize bycatch mortality. Additional protections are afforded to some species under the Endangered Species Act, regardless of whether they are listed as stocks in a fishery. Further, as a scientific matter, NMFS disagrees that every bycatch species would require conservation and management measures to protect the species from becoming overfished, because some bycatch species exhibit high productivity levels e.

Comment NMFS received several comments requesting that the guidelines include a description of vulnerability and how it should be determined, since it is referenced throughout the guidelines. NMFS is currently developing a qualitative methodology for evaluating the productivity and susceptibility of a stock to determine its vulnerability to the fishery, and anticipates the methodology to be finalized by February The methodology is based on the productivity-susceptibility analysis PSA developed by Stobutzki et al.

Stocks that have low susceptibilities e. Comment Some commenters noted that the EC classification could be used to avoid reference point specification. Response: NMFS believes that the guidelines provide mechanisms to address this issue. Whether it would be appropriate to include species in the EC category would require consideration of whether such action was consistent with the NS1 guidelines as well as the MSA as a whole.

If a Council or the Secretary wishes to add or reclassify stocks, a FMP amendment would be required, which documents rationale for the decision. However, the guidelines have been modified to note that EC species should be monitored to the extent that any new pertinent scientific information becomes available e.

Comment With regard to ecological, economic, and social EES factors related to OY, some commenters requested more specific guidance in incorporating the factors, and others commented that accounting for the factors is too time consuming. Other commenters expressed support for the reference to forage fish species and suggested including text on maximum economic yield and fish health. Response: The NS1 guidelines generally describe OY as the long-term average amount of desired yield from a stock, stock complex, or fishery.

NMFS has not made substantive changes from the proposed action, but has clarified that FMPs must address each factor but not necessarily each example.

Comment NMFS received several comments in support of using stock complexes as a management tool in data poor situations and other comments that expressed concern about the use of stock complexes and indicator species.

Comments included: stock complexes should only be used when sufficient data are lacking to generate species-specific SDCs and related reference points; there is little ecological basis for using indicator species to set ACLs for stock complexes see Shertzer and Williams as stocks within a stock complex exhibit different susceptibilities to the fishery; if used, stock complexes should be managed using the weakest or most vulnerable stock within the complex as a precautionary approach to management; it would be helpful to have examples of how a data poor stock could be periodically examined to determine if the stock is overfished or subject to overfishing.

Response: NMFS agrees that where possible Councils should generate stock-specific SDCs and related reference points for stocks in fishery; however, there are other circumstances in which stock complex management could be used. NMFS believes that the guidelines sufficiently addressed the issue that stock complexes should be managed using the most vulnerable stock within the complex.

In instances where an indicator stock is less vulnerable than other members of the complex, management measures need to be more conservative so that the more vulnerable members of the complex are not at risk from the fishery. Comment NMFS received comments regarding the process for specifying the ACL for either a stock complex or for a single indicator species. The commenters were concerned that the proper data will not be utilized to determine whether the ACL should be set for the stock complex or for single indicator species.

They feel that the use of single indicator species would not represent the stock's abundance, especially in the St. John and St. Croix fisheries. Response: NMFS understands the concern, but does not believe the guidelines need to be revised. NMFS will refer this comment to the Council. Comment NMFS received comments stating that the final action should clarify how SDCs and ACLs should be applied to stocks that are targeted in one fishery and bycatch in another, as well as circumstances where the stock is targeted by two or more FMPs that are managed by different regional councils.

In instances where the stock is targeted in two or more FMPs e. Comment Several commenters asked at what level an ACL would be specified for a species for which directed catch and retention is prohibited. Setting the ACL at zero would not be logical because if even one was caught incidentally then AMs would be triggered. Setting it higher would also not be logical because the point is to ensure little to no catch of the stock. Response: Prohibiting retention is a management measure to constrain the catch to a minimal amount.

If listed as a stock in the fishery, the reference points for the species, such as OFL and ABC, should be set based on the MSY for the stock, or, if ESA listed, would be set according to the associated ESA consultation's incidental take statement, regardless of the management approach used.

Comment NMFS received a comment stating that the specification of MSY must incorporate risk, be based on gear selectivity and support a healthy, functioning ecosystem. Other commenters stated that: Councils establish management measures with high probabilities of success e.

Such factors might include establishing a higher target level of biomass than normally associated with the specific stock's B msy. In addition, ecological conditions not directly accounted for in the specification of MSY can be among the ecological factors considered when setting OY below MSY.

Regarding the comment about establishing management measures with a high probability of success, this is addressed in comment NMFS does not believe that the NS1 guidelines need to be revised to require that fishery technological characteristics be evaluated every 2 years; such characteristics would be routinely updated with each stock assessment.

Response: Prohibition of retention does not necessarily mean that overfishing is prevented. Even though the species cannot be retained, the level of fishing mortality may still result in overfishing. Many stocks for which prohibitions are currently in place are considered data-poor.

Comment NMFS received comments voicing a concern about the NMFS process of determining the overfishing status of a fishery, because fishery management measures have been implemented to end overfishing, but stocks are still listed as subject to overfishing and require ACLs by The commenters felt that several species under the Caribbean Fishery Management Council's protection should currently be removed from the overfished species list.

Response: NMFS agrees that this is an important issue. Due to the process inherent in determining the status of a stock there is inevitably a lag time between implementation of management measures and a new assessment of the stock's status under those measures.

The fisheries subject to overfishing, including several in the Caribbean, are required to have ACLs by , and all other fisheries must have ACLs by The Council's Comprehensive Amendment that implemented the Sustainable Fisheries Act in included measures designed to end overfishing. Although these measures may have ameliorated fishing pressure for some fishery resources in the U. Virgin Islands, the Council will need to evaluate the existing fishery management measures to determine whether they are sufficient to meet the new statutory requirements for ACLs and AMs.

Specific comments included: 1 The MSA does not define or require OFL, so NMFS should not use it in the guidelines; 2 catch-based SDC are inconsistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act intent and SDC should only be based on the fishing mortality rate as it relates to a stock or stock complex's capacity to achieve MSY on a continual basis; 3 the Magnuson-Stevens Act does not require use of the long term average OFL as MSY; 4 NMFS increases the risk of overfishing when theoretical catch estimates or a constant fishing mortality rate F are used to manage a fishery especially when a retrospective pattern exists in a stock or stock complex.

The MSA defines overfishing as a rate or level of fishing mortality that jeopardizes the capacity of the stock to produce MSY. The OFL is an annual level of catch that corresponds directly to the MFMT, and is the best estimate of the catch level above which overfishing is occurring. NMFS believes, therefore, that comparing catch to OFL is a valid basis for determining if overfishing has occurred that year. There are advantages and disadvantages of using either measure.

The advantages of using OFL as a SDC are that catch can be easily understood by constituents, a determination can be made as soon as catch totals are available, and there is no retrospective problem with setting the SDC itself. Use of OFL might not be appropriate for stocks with highly variable recruitment that can not be predicted and therefore incorporated into the forecast of stock condition on which OFL is based.

The advantage of using MFMT to determine if overfishing is occurring is because F is based on a stock assessment analyzing the past performance of the fishery. However, F cannot not be calculated until an assessment has been updated, which may lag the fishery by several years.

Therefore, a status determination based on MFMT could be less current than a determination based on OFL and catch, and reflects past, rather than current, fishery performance. Also, if there is a retrospective pattern in the assessment, then the hindsight estimate of F for a particular year used for the SDC will be different than the forecast estimate of stock condition used when setting target catch levels and management measures for that same year.

The choice of SDC for a stock should consider things like the frequency of stock assessments, the ability to forecast future stock size, and any known retrospective patterns in the assessment.

A Council could develop SDC based on both criteria, if sufficient rationale is provided. In most cases, the variation in relative contribution of environmental and fishing factors from year to year in reducing stock abundance is not known. When specifying SDC the Council is required to provide an analysis of how the SDC were chosen and how they relate to the reproductive potential of the stock.

Specifically, the MSST should be expressed in terms of reproductive potential or spawning biomass. The comments stated that, in a time of anthropogenic climate change, stock dynamics are likely to change and by establishing this provision in the final action NMFS will undermine the statute's mandate to end overfishing.

Response: Section NMFS believes that the requirement of NS2, that conservation and management measures be based on the best available science, applies to the establishment of SDC. Therefore, in cases where changing environmental conditions alter the long-term reproductive potential of a stock, the SDC must be modified. As stocks and stock complexes are routinely assessed, long-term trends are updated with current environmental, ecological, and biological data to estimate SDCs.

NMFS allows for flexibility in these provisions to account for variability in both environmental changes and variation in a stock's biological reaction to the environment. Total mortality of fish stocks includes many factors other than fishing mortality.

Short-term environmental changes may alter the size of a stock or complex, for instance, by episodic recruitment failures, but these events are not likely to change the reproductive biology or reproductive potential of the stock over the long-term.

In this case the Council should not change the SDC. Other environmental changes, such as some changes in ocean conditions, can alter both a stock's short-term size, and alter long-term reproductive biology.

In such instances the Councils are required to respecify the SDC based on the best available science and document how the changes in the SDC relate to reproductive potential. In all cases, fishing mortality must be controlled so that overfishing does not occur. NMFS notes that, depending on the impact of the environmental change on the stock, failure to respecify SDC could result in overfishing, or could result in failure to achieve OY.

In both cases, the fishery would not meet the requirements of NS1. If manmade environmental changes are partially responsible for the overfished condition, the Council should recommend restoration of habitat and ameliorative programs in addition to curtailing fishing mortality. Comment NMFS received several comments that state that by requiring reference points to be point estimates NMFS is not acknowledging the uncertainty inherent in fishery management science.

The comments expressed that the best way to incorporate uncertainty was to express SDCs as ranges and not point estimates. Response: NMFS believes that uncertainty in SDC, OFL, and other fishing level quantities is best dealt with by fully analyzing the probability that overfishing will occur and that the stock might decline into an overfished condition, but we recognize that such a full analysis is not possible in many data-limited situations.

When using a probability based approach, the distribution of probabilities includes a point estimate and it extends along a range. NMFS scientists are working on a technical document that will describe some of the currently available methods to do such calculations, as well as some proxy approaches that could be used in situations where available data and methods do not allow calculation of the probability distributions.

The full range of conservation and management measures for a fishery, which include the ACL and AM provisions, are required to achieve the OY for the fishery on a continuing basis. NMFS notes that for fisheries where stock abundance is below the level that can produce the OY without the fishing mortality rate exceeding the MFMT, the annual yield will be less than the long-term OY level.

When stock abundance is above B msy, a constant fishing mortality control rule may allow the annual catch to exceed the long-term average OY without overfishing occurring, but frequent stock assessments need to be conducted to update the level of stock abundance. As such, NMFS has considered how to interpret these provisions in light of the statutory text and taking into consideration public comment during scoping and in response to the proposed NS1 guidelines.

The specification of OY is required to consider a variety of factors, including social and economic factors, and the protection of marine ecosystems, which are not part of the ABC concept. The Councils determine the ACL, which may not exceed the fishing level recommendations of its science advisors. Although MSY and ABC are both derived from a control rule, the ABC is the appropriate constraint on ACL because it is the annualized result of applying that control rule thus is responsive to current stock abundance whereas the MSY is the expected long-term average from a control rule.

Response: NMFS believes that fisheries managers cannot consistently meet the requirements of the MSA to prevent overfishing and achieve, on a continuing basis, OY unless they address scientific and management uncertainty. The reductions in fishing levels that may be necessary in order to prevent overfishing should be only the amount necessary to achieve the results mandated by the MSA. Comment Several commenters suggested that NMFS clarify language to ensure that all aspects of fishing mortality e.

NMFS also received comments that accounting for bycatch mortality in data poor situations should not be required. NMFS, however, disagrees that, when bycatch data is lacking, managers could ignore this known source of fishing mortality.

Ignoring a known source of fishing mortality because data are lacking leads to underestimating catch. Unless this is factored in—for instance, as increased uncertainty leading to more conservative ABC and appropriate AMs including ACT control rules —overfishing could occur. NMFS's National Bycatch Report due to be published in late or early provides comprehensive estimates of bycatch of fish, marine mammals, and non-marine mammal protected resources in major U.

For instances where the National Bycatch Report does not provide bycatch data, NMFS suggests developing proxies based on National Bycatch Report bycatch ratios in similar fisheries until better data are available. However, the decision about the best methodology for estimating bycatch should be made by the Council in consultation with its SSC, considering the best available scientific information. Response: The NS1 Guidelines recognize that precise quantitative assessments are not available for all stocks and some stocks do not have sufficient data for any assessment beyond an accounting of historical catch.

It remains important to prevent overfishing in these situations, even though the exact level of catch that causes overfishing is not known. The overall guidance is that when stocks have limited information about their potential yield, harvest rates need to be moderated until such information can be obtained. NMFS is currently working on a report on control rules that will provide additional examples of possible approaches for data-limited situations as well as approaches that can use a better set of information.

Response: NMFS agrees that the productivity of stock, as well as the stocks susceptibility to the fishery should be considered when developing the ABC control rule. When used, ACT control rules address management uncertainty, which is not related to the productivity of the stock.

In considering the performance standard, a Council should consider if the vulnerability of the stock has been accounted for in the ABC control rule, so as not to double count this type of uncertainty and provide unduly cautious management advice. Here it is important to distinguish between setting an annual level of catch equal to zero because the stock biomass is low, from prohibiting landings for the remainder of a fishing year because the ACL has already been achieved.

For the first type of prohibition, an ABC control rule could stipulate the level at which fishing is prohibited due to low stock biomass, but such a low level of biomass is likely to be below the MSST which will invoke development of a rebuilding plan with associated modification of the ABC control rule for the duration of the plan.

NMFS, however, disagrees that the ACT control rule should have a similar stipulation as the primary function of this control rule is to account for management uncertainty and to serve as the target for inseason management actions. Comment NMFS received several comments that spatial-temporal management of ACLs should be employed as an integral part of effective catch-limit management.

The commenters noted that apportioning ACLs by seasons and areas could reduce bycatch, protect sensitive habitats, reduce competition among fishery sectors, avoid localized and serial depletions of stocks, and ensure geographic and seasonal availability of prey to key predators. Response: NMFS acknowleges that spatial and temporal considerations of fishery removals from a stock can be important.

Many fisheries currently incorporate spatial and temporal considerations. However, in the context of NS1, these considerations would be relevant only if the overfishing definition or the OY definition for a stock included spatial or temporal divisions of the stock structure. NMFS believes the guidelines give Councils flexibility to consider spatial and temporal issues in establishing ACLs for a stock, and does not agree that the NS1 guidelines need to specifically address this issue.

Apportioning ACLs by seasons and areas could be considered as Councils develop conservation and management measures for a fishery to meet the full range of MSA requirements, including the NS for basing conservation and management measures upon the best scientific information available NS2 ; taking into account the importance of fishery resources to fishing communities to provide sustained participation and minimize adverse economic impacts NS8 ; minimizing bycatch NS9 ; and allocating fishing privileges among various U.

One comment stated that the SSC should have the discretion to recommend an ABC that is different from the result of the control rule calculation in cases where there was substantial uncertainty or concern relating to the control rule calculated ABC.

In the preamble of the proposed NS1 revisions, NMFS acknowledged that the statutory language could be subject to different interpretations see p.

Compare MSA sections h 6 and g 1 B. Section g 1 E of the MSA provides that the Secretary and a Council may, but are not required to, establish a peer review process. For example, a peer review process may conduct an extensive technical review of the details of each stock assessment. The SSC can then use the assessment document and its peer review, consider unresolved uncertainties, seek consistency with assessment decisions made for other stocks in the region, and arrive at an ABC recommendation.

The SSC would have explain why the recommendation differed from the calculated value. Comments included: There should be a mandatory peer review of significant SSC recommendations; the SSC should be directed to draw information and recommendations from the broadest possible range of scientific opinion; the SSC recommendation should include a discussion of alternative recommendations that were considered and alternative methodologies that were explored; what is the role of the SSC in providing recommendations for achieving rebuilding targets?

Comment Some commenters supported the proposed guidelines regarding the SSC, its relation to the Council, and provision of science advice such as ABC, but requested that the Start Printed Page guidelines further emphasize that managers follow the advice of their scientific advisors in all cases when setting catch limits.

Other commenters opposed the provisions and stated that accounting for scientific uncertainty is a matter of policy, not science and therefore should be delegated to the Council. Response: NMFS believes that determining the level of scientific uncertainty is not a matter of policy and is a technical matter best determined by stock assessment scientists as reviewed by peer review processes and SSCs. Determining the acceptable level of risk of overfishing that results from scientific uncertainty is the policy issue.

This risk policy is part of the required ABC control rule. The Council should use the advice of its science advisors in developing this control rule and should articulate the control rule in the FMP.

The guidance is clear that the control rule policy on the degree of reduction appropriate for a particular stock is established by the Council. The MSA specifies a number of things that make up the recommendations that SSCs provide to their Council including recommendations for ABC, preventing overfishing, MSY, achieving rebuilding targets, reports on stock status and health, bycatch, habitat status, social and economic impacts of management measures, and sustainability of fishing practices.

Response: NMFS agrees. NMFS recently published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking 73 FR ; September 18, to revise the NS2 guidelines and encourages the public to provide comment. Comment One commenter believed the ACT should be a suggested component of a fishery management plan rather than a mandated component of an FMP. Although the ACT may clearly distinguish management uncertainty from other sources of uncertainty, adding a target does not fundamentally improve the process.

It is more important to correctly adjust the ACL based on actual performance data than to create a separate target or ACT control rule based on theory to account solely for management uncertainty. NMFS disagrees that a target does not fundamentally improve the process.

ACL is to be treated as a limit—an amount of catch that the fishery should not exceed. The purpose of utilizing an ACT is so that, given uncertainty in the amount of catch that will result from the conservation and management measures in the fishery, the ACL will not be exceeded.

ACLs are subject to modification by AMs. Response: NMFS disagrees that management uncertainty is an abstract concept. It relates to the difference between the actual catch and the amount of catch that was expected to result from the management measures applied to a fishery.

It can be caused by untimely catch data that usually prevents inseason management measures from being effective. Management uncertainty also results from underreporting, late reporting and misreporting and inaccurate assumptions about discard mortality of a stock in commercial and recreational fisheries.

One way to estimate management uncertainty is to examine a set of annual actual catches compared to target catches or catch quotas for a stock. If all or most of the catches fall closely around their target catches and don't exceed the OFL then management uncertainty is low; if actual catches often or usually result in overfishing then the management uncertainty is high and should be accounted for when establishing the AMs for a fishery, which may include setting an ACT.

Comment NMFS received several comments regarding scientific and management uncertainty. In general these comments included: Clarify the meaning of scientific uncertainty; clarify that some types of uncertainty may not be considered in the ABC control rule process; increase research efforts in order to deal with scientific uncertainty; provide flexibility in the guidelines regarding how the Councils deal with uncertainty; and recognize that recreational fisheries are unduly impacted by the guidelines due to delayed monitoring of catch.

In addition, retrospective patterns in estimates of future stock biomass and F i. NMFS revised the guidelines to make clear that all sources of scientific uncertainty—not just uncertainty in the level of the OFL—must be considered in establishing the ABC, and that SSCs may incorporate consideration of uncertainty beyond that specifically accounted for in the ABC control rule, when making their ABC recommendation.

Scientific uncertainty is not and should not be limited to the estimate of OFL. That restriction would make it more difficult to implement other appropriate methods for incorporating scientific uncertainty in other quantities such as distribution of long term yield. Comment Several commenters stated that buffers, or margins of safety, need to be required between the overfishing level and annual catch limits to account for uncertainty, and that the final action should require the use of such buffers to achieve a high probability that overfishing does not occur.

NMFS received comments suggesting that buffers between limit and target fishing levels reduce the chance that overfishing will occur and should be recognized as an accountability measure.