U.S. Regional Fishery Management Councils

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The eight U.S. regional fishery management councils are the primary forums for developing conservation and management measures for U.S. marine fisheries. The regional councils recommend management measures for fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); which are subject to approval and implemented by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The councils were established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976. In 1996, revisions to the laws governing the regional fishery management councils were made by the Sustainable Fisheries Act, which includes provisions to reduce bycatch, consider the effects of management decisions on communities, and protect essential fish habitats.

The councils are composed of federal and state officials, including the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Coast Guard,[1] and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

U.S. regional fishery management councils
Regional council Note
Western Pacific The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council’s jurisdiction includes the US exclusive economic zone (EEZ) waters (generally 3-200 miles offshore) around the State of Hawaii; US Territories of American Samoa and Guam; the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI); and the US Pacific remote island areas of Johnston, Midway, Palmyra and Wake Atolls; Baker, Howland and Jarvis Islands; and Kingman Reef. This area of nearly 1.5 million square miles is the size of the continental United States and constitutes about half of the entire US EEZ. It spans both sides of the equator and both sides of the dateline. The Council also manages domestic fisheries based in the US Pacific Islands that operate on the high seas.
North Pacific The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) is one of eight regional councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976 to manage the fisheries of the USA. With jurisdiction over the 900,000-square-mile (2,300,000 km2) Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off Alaska, the Council has primary responsibility for groundfish management in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, including cod, pollock, flatfish, mackerel, sablefish, and rockfish species. Other large Alaska fisheries such as salmon, crab and herring are managed primarily by the State of Alaska.
Pacific Develops regulations for fisheries in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off Washington, Oregon, and California. This area of ocean is also known as the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem.
Gulf of Mexico Prepares fishery management plans for the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) consists of 17 voting members:[2] the Southeast Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the directors of the five Gulf state marine resource management agencies (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida), and 11 members who are nominated by the state governors, and appointed by the United States Secretary of Commerce. The Gulf Council currently has 10 fishery management plans that set management parameters for: Costal Migratory Pelagics,[3] Red Drum,[4] Reef Fish,[5] Shrimp,[6] Spiny Lobster,[7] Florida Stone Crab,[8] Coral and Coral Reefs,[9] Essential Fish Habitat,[10] Aquaculture,[11] and generic amendments[12] in the EEZ of the Gulf of Mexico.[13]
New England
Mid-Atlantic
South Atlantic
Caribbean

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